Friday, February 24, 2012

Similarities between Islam and Mormonism

You might be surprised to know there are some very interesting similarities between Islam and Mormonism. Let's consider a few and compare them with the Bible.

1. Both Islam and Mormonism claim that Judaism and Christianity failed, all present day religions were false, and that the truth of God needed to be restored. The prophet Muhammad claimed to restore God's truth through the teaching of Islam, and the prophet Joseph Smith claimed he restored God's truth through the teachings of Mormonism. Both claim that Jesus Christ failed at preserving God's truth. The Bible says that Jesus promised to build His Church and the gates of hell would not prevail against ti. (See Matthew 16:18)

2. Muhammad and Joseph Smith claimed to be God's final prophet. Even though Mormonism continues the tradition of a present day prophet, the Mormon prophets have over time changed or adapted the teachings of Joseph Smith. While many Muslims believe God still gives revelation, most Muslims believe that Muhammad was God's final true prophet. The Bible teaches us that God has revealed His truth once and for all and given it to the world. (See Ephesians 2:20, 4:4-6, Jude 3)

3. Both Islam and Mormonism claim to have received new revelation from God in addition to the Bible. For Islam it is the Koran and for Mormonism it is the Book of Mormon, Doctrines and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. Mormons also hold to the idea that the current living Mormon prophet (the president of the LDS church) is God's present day spokesman. While the Bible supports the idea of God speaking to and leading His people, the Bible also gives us clear warning that God will not speak contrary to or in opposition to the revelation He has already given in His word. God has given us Jesus and the Bible as a standard to measure any future "so called" revelation by. If the person, prophet or teacher declares things in opposition to what God has already revealed we are to reject it. God warns us that even the devil can appear as an angel of light or righteousness, but his desire is to lie, twist and distort the truth. (See 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, 13-15, Galatians 1:6-10, John 10:10, Luke 4:1-13, Genesis 3:1-8, Isaiah 8:20, Proverb 30:5-6)

4. Both Islam and Mormonism claim that the Bible has been corrupted through translations and is not trustworthy. And so they say that because God's revelation has been corrupted and distorted that God needed them to provide His "true, pure and un-corrupted" revelation to the world. Both Mormons and Muslims claim their holy books are pure and have been kept from corruption unlike the Bible. While Christians admit to minor differences in the various ancient manuscripts copies of the Bible due to scribal slips of the pen, there remains a consistent message among the manuscripts regarding all doctrinal issues. And while the various manuscripts of the Bible do include spelling errors and such, the differences do no change the entire person and nature of God and salvation like Islam and Mormonism do. Islam and Mormonism do not attempt to correct the spelling errors found in the biblical manuscripts, they attempt to rewrite God's revelation and reveal a completely different God, Jesus and way of salvation.

5. Both Muhammad and Joseph Smith claim to have received their revelations direct from an angel of God. Muhammad claimed he received his revelation from the angel Gabriel. Joseph Smith claimed his revelation was from God directly as well as the angel Moroni. The Bible warns us boldly not to receive any revelation from an angel or person that changes the Gospel message. Galatians 1:6-10

6. Both religions claimed that their new revelations were written on sacred books which were taken back to heaven and cannot be found on earth. Joseph Smith said his book was written on golden plates found on Mount Cumorah as revealed by the angel Moroni, and Muhammad claimed his "Mother book" was from paradise and returned to heaven by Gabriel. The Bible has left us 66 different books, written by over 40 authors, on 3 different continents, in 3 different languages, over 1600 years and yet combined they reveal one consistent message about God's plan to redeem mankind through the Savior. Whether its prophecy, history, archaeology, science or the over 25, 000 manuscript copies or fragments of the Bible, God has left plenty of evidence surrounding His revelation as well as great accountability to test the transmission and translation of the documents.

7. Both Muhammad and Joseph Smith claimed to be uneducated men and therefore their revelations and holy books were the result of supernatural inspiration and not themselves. The Bible agrees that you do not have to be highly educated to have God's revelation, but the Bible also teaches us that supernatural demons and spirits can also inspire people to do things or write things they could not do without supernatural assistance. Supernatural does not always mean God's miraculous power, it also could imply angelic or demonic miraculous power. See 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10. God commands us not only to test the teachings, but the "miracles" to see if they are in line with His Word and Character. (Read Deuteronomy 13 and compare with Deuteronomy 18:15-22)

8. Both of these "newer religions and holy books" represent a salvation that is based on human works and not on the grace and mercy of God. For example, both Islam and Mormonism teach that someone's eternal salvation can be earned through good works, giving, serving, personal self control and loyalty to their religion, book and prophet(s). This is important because the Bible clearly teaches that eternal life is a free gift given to us by Jesus Christ and good works are a result of thankfulness and a spiritually changed heart. (See Ephesians 2:8-10, Titus 3:3-7)

9. Both Islam and Mormonism speak about Jesus, but they portray Him as someone very different than what the Bible says. Both Islam and Mormonism present Jesus Christ as a prophet but not as God. Both have Jesus as a "brother" to mankind but not the Maker of mankind. While Islam would present Jesus as a brother to fallen men, Mormonism teaches that Jesus is the spirit brother of Lucifer (Satan) a fallen angel. The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus is Creator of all mankind and all angels. (See John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:15-18, Hebrews 1:1-3, 2:10)

10. In both Islam and Mormonism women in the afterlife are used for sexual purposes. In Islam women are virgins awaiting Muslim martyrs who died for Islam. In Mormonism women can become goddesses alongside their god-like husbands and be eternally pregnant, forever creating spirit children who will populate other worlds in hope of becoming gods and goddesses themselves. The Bible teaches that heaven is a place where people are neither married nor having sex, but both men and women are enjoying intimacy with God forever. (See Mark 12:18-27)

11. Muhammad the founder of Islam and Joseph Smith the founder of Mormonism both practiced polygamy and had multiple wives. Muhammad had at least 12 wives and Joseph Smith had over 30 wives. While the Bible records the failures of God's people in practicing fornication, adultery and polygamy, God's Word is very clear that His standard regarding marriage is one man and one woman. (See Matthew 19:1-12, Mark 10:1-12, 1 Timothy 3:2, Titus 1:6, Hebrews 13:4)

12. Both Muhammad and Joseph Smith willfully shed the blood of other men. Muhammad participated in battles he called "holy war," killing those he called infidels who would not convert to Islam, and Joseph Smith shot and killed 2 men before he was shot and killed himself. A martyr dies for their faith, a murderer kills for their faith.

13. Both Muhammad and Joseph Smith wielded power and force over people through fear. Muhammad demanded conversion to Islam or death, and Joseph Smith demanded conversion to Mormonism to be saved and the submission of women to polygamy as a requirement for salvation or they would be damned. The Bible teaches that salvation is a work of God in a person's heart that cannot be brought about by the force or manipulation of men. The Bible warns us not to manipulate or pressure by physical force people into believing the Christian faith, but it does encourage us to teach, plead with, persuade, warn, and command every man to repent of sin and put faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. (See Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15, 2 Corinthians 5:11, Colossians 1:28)

14. Both Islam and Mormonism have those who follow the "original" revelations of their faith and are known as fundamentalist. (Fundamentalists believe in the fundamental and foundational beliefs of their religion as opposed to traditional or modern distortions and changes of the religion.) Fundamentalist Muslims are often known as those who do harm to others through violence or commit acts of terrorism for the furtherance of Islam. Fundamentalist Mormons are known as those who do harm to women and children holding to the original teachings of Joseph Smith by demanding the practice of polygamy as a means to salvation. A fundamentalist Christian is someone who believes the fundamental truths about Christianity as revealed in the Bible without embracing the many distortions, changes or additions to doctrine that have happened throughout history. There is great diversity among fundamental Christians in how they practice their faith in the fundamentals.

These are a few of the similarities between Islam and Mormonism. And I felt compelled to add briefly what the Bible says regarding those few things so you can see that, although Islam and Mormonism are similar they are both very different from biblical Christianity. Feel free to check the writings of Islam, Mormonism, the Bible, as well as documented history to verify the things written above. While it is obvious that the Bible does not support Islam or Mormonism, it is not "anti-Muslim" or "anti-Mormon" to simply repeat recorded history.

Now, lets look quickly at Jesus:

He laid His own life down, shed His own blood and died for our sins willingly. He never murdered anyone, nor did He resist dying. He healed the sick, cast out demons, fed the poor, preached the kingdom of God, resisted religious hypocrisy, was a homeless circuit preacher and teacher, never married, was murdered at the age of 33, rose again at the age of 33, and He is now seated at the right hand of God, as God's one and only Son, and He Himself declares Himself to be God and able to save and forgive anyone who comes to Him in faith. He promises a heaven not full of sexual indulgence but sinless perfect righteousness and love. He said He would build His church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it. He said He would reveal Himself to those who believe in Him and obey Him, and that He would come to live within His followers through His Spirit. He said He came not to destroy men's lives but to give them life more abundant and full of joy. And while you will find throughout history and the pages of the Bible imperfect Christians who have made mistakes, you will not find an imperfect Jesus who has ever made a mistake. This is why you must choose between trusting in religions created by men or trusting in the revelation of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as revealed in the Bible.

In the Bible the Book of Ephesians 1:3 says that God has blessed believers with EVERY single spiritual blessing in the heavenly places IN CHRIST JESUS!

If God gives ALL of His blessings to those who believe and trust in Jesus Christ alone, then really what does Islam or Mormonism have to offer us that God has not already given?

Colossians 2:9-10 says that Jesus Christ is God and if you are a genuine believer in Jesus and found in Him, then you are COMPLETE! Islam and Mormonism cannot add to "complete."

Trust Jesus! Leave man-made religions for those who want to remain incomplete and lost.

For similar Blogs I've written go to:

Intro to Mormon blogs

5 Reasons Mormons and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are not Christians

Joseph Smith or Jesus Christ

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Joseph Smith or Jesus Christ?

Today, is God continuing to use the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross to forgive and save people, or has He changed His method of salvation, and is He instead using the Mormon organization and religion of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?
This question is no small matter. How you answer could determine your own eternal destiny. Let's take a moment to consider the history of Mormonism and its founder Joseph Smith. You can decide if his character and teachings, as well as the teaching of his followers are consistent with what Jesus and the Bible teach us about God.

The Mormon Church or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) claims to be the one true church of God today. Ask any true Mormon if they believe their church is the "true church" and they will answer "yes." This is a bold claim considering there have been faithful and sincere followers of Jesus Christ throughout the whole world long before the Mormon Church was ever started. For Mormonism to claim to be the "only true Church", they also have to claim that for over 1800 years millions of genuine Christians have been wrong who simply followed the teachings of the Jesus and the Bible.
Let's openly and honestly consider some of the statements made by leaders in the Mormon Church and see if they really line up with what God has said in the Bible. The Scriptures warn each of us not to have a mindless, "blind-faith," but to study and test the things we hear and see if they line up with the character and teachings of God as revealed in the Bible. As you read please know that my goal is not to slander Mormons or Mormonism but to honestly repeat what their leaders have already been quoted as saying. You are free to check all my references to ensure no misrepresentation. And please, study the Bible to see if these things are true or not.

Brigham Young (June 1, 1801–August 29, 1877) was the 2nd President of the Mormon Church after Joseph Smith died. His comments and quotes regarding Joseph Smith are held in high esteem. The importance of Joseph Smith in Mormon theology cannot be overemphasized. Brigham Young frequently praised Joseph Smith. Consider this quote:

"Well, now, examine the character of the Savior, and examine the character of those who have written the Old and New Testaments; and then compare them with the character of Joseph Smith, the founder of this work... and you will find that his character stands as fair as that of any man's mentioned in the Bible. We can find no person who presents a better character to the world when the facts are known than Joseph Smith Junior, the prophet and his brother Hyrum Smith, who was murdered with him." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 14 p. 203)

Consider these incredible statements made from Brigham Young.

" man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith.... Every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance... I cannot go there without his consent.… He reigns there as supreme a being in his sphere, capacity, and calling, as God does in heaven." (vol. 7, p. 289)

“... I am an Apostle of Joseph Smith.... all who reject my testimony will go to hell, so sure as there is one, no matter whether it be hot or cold ... (vol. 3, p.212). I will now give my scripture—"Whosoever confesseth that Joseph Smith was sent of God ... that spirit is of God; and every spirit that does not confess that God has sent Joseph Smith, and revealed the everlasting Gospel to and through him, is of Anti-christ …”(vol. 8, p.176).

Wow! Can you believe that this is an "apostle, prophet and president" of the Mormon Church declaring his words as divine scripture, even equal to the Bible. Not only does he say and teach things that are totally against what the Bible clearly teaches, he actually replaces the name of Jesus and adds Joseph Smith.

Let's consider briefly what the Bible actually teaches about how we go to heaven and who we must confess.

"Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." -John 14:6

The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus claimed to be the one and only way to God the Father and nowhere say that God would send a prophet or prophets 1800 years later to teach things that are totally against what Jesus said. Brigham Young says that we must go to God through Joseph Smith.

"That if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead you will be saved...whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved." -Romans 10:9&13 This was written by Paul, and Apostle of Jesus Christ in the 1st Century.

The Bible teaches that Jesus is Lord and He alone reigns supreme. We are to call upon the name of Jesus, confess Him and believe in Him alone for salvation. Brigham Young would have us believe that we are to confess Jesus and Joseph Smith if we are to be saved. And Brigham Young is so bold as to say that if we reject his testimony about Joseph Smith or reject Joseph Smith as someone sent by God then we are of the spirit of the anti-christ and we will go to hell! Think about this, he is adding to the Bible and saying that we need the testimony of Brigham Young and we need Joseph Smith to be saved. He is saying that Jesus Christ is not enough.

Mormonism has embraced the teachings of Brigham Young as the 2nd President of the Mormon Church and even held the teachings of the Presidents as "prophetic" or divine. And yet, Brigham Young clearly adds to the Bible, opposes the teachings of Jesus, and even twists the Scriptures by removing the name of Jesus and adding the name of Joseph Smith as necessary for salvation. Friends, if any Christian leader ever did this they would be rebuked, removed from ministry and considered a heretic, false teacher and false prophet. However, if a Mormon does this they're considered an "apostle", a "prophet" and a spokesperson for God. The Mormon Church should hold its members and presidents more accountable to the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Bible.

Here is the actual biblical Scripture Brigham Young changes and applies to Joseph Smith.

In 1 John 4:2-3 it says, "By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world." This was written by the Apostle John who was an intimate friend of Jesus, witnessed His death and resurrection and penned the Gospel of John which is in the Bible.

You see, its about confessing Jesus Christ, the Son of God as having actually come in the flesh. The Bible teaches that anyone who rejects that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of the Antichrist. It says nothing about rejecting a future prophet named Joseph Smith or his followers testimonies.

Now, considering our topic at hand it is essential that I mention the verse immediately before these. In 1 John 4:1 it says, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone into the world."

Here you have a clear warning from the Bible not to believe every spirit or teacher, but to test them. We do well to test the words of Brigham Young with the Bible, and the Bible teaches us that there is salvation in no one but Jesus, "for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." -Acts 4:12 It would seem that the Bible 1800 years earlier was giving us a heads-up and a warning about false teachers, false prophets and false "saviors" that would come and try to deceive us. We must decide to believe the testimony of Brigham Young or the testimony of Jesus and the Bible, because we cannot believe them both. You must choose between Joseph Smith and the testimony of his "apostles," or Jesus Christ and the testimony of His Apostles whose writings have been in Bible for nearly 2000 years.

Heber C. Kimball (June14, 1801–June 22, 1868) served as one of the first 12 Mormon apostles, was a member of the first Presidency under Brigham Young, and said that the time would come when people would:

"prize brother Joseph Smith as the Prophet of the Living God, and look upon him as a God, and also upon Brigham Young, our Governor in the Territory of Deseret" (Journal of Discourses, vol. 5, p.88).

While present-day Mormons do not worship Joseph Smith, there seems to be plenty of evidence that Joseph Smith wanted to elevate himself almost to the same level as Jesus Christ. When you add up the quotes from Joseph Smith as well as comments and testimonies of early Mormon members and presidents you can't help but come to the conclusion that Joseph Smith and his followers diminished the Person and work of Jesus Christ in order to exalt the person and works of Joseph Smith.

Josiah Quincy, a Massachusetts legislator, related that when he visited Joseph Smith in 1844, "the prophet put this inquiry: 'Is not here one greater than Solomon, who built a Temple with the treasures of his father David and with the assistance of Huram, King of Tyre? Joseph Smith has built his Temple with no one to aid him in the work.' " (Figures of the Past, as cited in Among the Mormons, p. 138)

The Bible declares in 1 Kings 4:29-34 that there was non wiser than Solomon, and yet when Jesus was rebuking the people of His day for their unbelief and unrepentance He said, speaking of Himself, "...indeed, a greater than Solomon is here." -Matthew 12:42 Jesus was saying that He and His wisdom were superior to Solomon. For Joseph Smith to take this quote of Jesus and apply it to himself is not a statement of truth, but of pride. Should we not be leery of those who take the quotes of Jesus and apply them to themselves? Should we not be suspicious of men who attempt to put themselves in the place of God?

The History of the Church contains some statements which seem to show that Joseph Smith felt he was almost equal with God. Joseph Smith said, "God made Aaron to be the mouth piece for the children of Israel, and He will make me be god to you in His stead, and the Elders to be mouth for me; and if you don't like it, you must lump it." (vol. 6, pp.319-320)

It is no secret that Jesus claimed to be equal to God. Speaking to His disciples He said, "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him...He who has seen Me has seen the Father...I am in the Father and the Father is in Me...the Father dwells in Me..." -John 14:7-10 (various portions of those verses) Jesus throughout the Gospel accounts not only speaks of His own Divinity and equality with God, but proves it through miracles, power over creation and power to create, prophecy and supernatural knowledge of people's thoughts. The first chapter of the Gospel of John calls Jesus the "Word who is God" and reveals Jesus as God "who became flesh." And finally, the New Testament letters and Paul the Apostle reaffirm that Jesus is God in saying things like, "Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the Creator of everything visible and invisible." "In Jesus the fullness of the Godhead dwelt in bodily form." -Colossians 1:15-16, 2:9. Romans 9:5 says that Jesus is "the eternally blessed God." Hebrews chapter 1 powerfully reveals Jesus as Creator of all things, the express image of the Person of God and receiving worship from angels. And Titus 2:13 calls Him our "great God and Savior Jesus Christ." On and on the Bible refers to Jesus as God, equal to God, and having all the divine attributes as God. Can Joseph Smith really compare himself with Jesus?

Consider this quote:

"If they want a beardless boy to whip all the world, I will get on the top of the mountain and crow like a rooster. I shall always beat them.... I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him, but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet." (vol. 6, pp. 408-9)

So here Joseph Smith clearly boasts that he accomplished something that Jesus Christ could not. In Proverbs 16:18 the Bible warns us that pride comes before destruction and an arrogant attitude before a fall. When Joseph Smith says, "I boast that no man ever did such a work as I" he is claiming to have done something that not even Jesus could do.

In Matthew 16:18 Jesus claimed that He would "build His church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it." He either spoke the truth or lied. He has either built His church and is continuing to build His church or he has failed. Joseph Smith would have us believe that Jesus was incapable of keeping His word, upholding His promise and building His church. Mormonism would have us believe that Jesus failed, the gates of hell prevailed against the church, and Joseph Smith and the Mormon Church have succeeded in restoring the true church. Either Jesus was a liar and failure and Joseph Smith is telling the truth and has succeeded in restoring the true church, or Jesus is telling the truth and is succeeding and Joseph Smith and the Mormon church are wrong. You cannot believe both.

Joseph Smith was ultimately killed in 1844 in jail by a mob that opposed his religious teachings and political pursuits. One of the most important factors leading to Joseph Smith's death was his order to destroy a newspaper called the Nauvoo Expositor. Mormon scholar Kenneth W. Godfrey wrote: "The Prophet's mayoral order, with the consent of the city council, to destroy the Nauvoo Expositor became the immediate excuse to stamp out his life.... Perhaps in retrospect both Mormons and Gentiles were partly to blame for conflict which developed between them." (Brigham Young University Studies, Winter 1968, pp. 213-14)

Even back then there was great controversy about the teachings of Joseph Smith and the Mormon Church.
The Nauvoo Expositor was to be printed in Nauvoo by prominent Mormon defectors who opposed Joseph Smith's political ambitions and the practice of polygamy. While Mormon writers often refer to the Nauvoo Expositor as a scandalous and vile publication, an examination of the paper reveals that it advocated high morals and obedience to the law.

The thing that really disturbed the Mormon leaders, however, was that the Nauvoo Expositor exposed Joseph Smith's secret teaching of polygamy. In an affidavit published in the Expositor, June 7, 1844, Austin Cowles charged that he had seen "a revelation given through the Prophet" which taught "the doctrine of a plurality of wives."

The Mormon leaders responded that Austin Cowles had lied, but eight years after Joseph Smith's death they published the revelation on polygamy. A careful reading of the revelation (now printed in the Doctrine and Covenants as Section 132) proves beyond all doubt that the statements in the Expositor were true. Not only did Joseph Smith teach polygamy, but he practiced polygamy himself and before his death had married over 30 women.

Thus it is clear that the Expositor was condemned on the basis or false testimony given by Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum. In the synopsis of the proceedings of the Nauvoo City Council we found the following: "Mayor [Joseph Smith] said, if he had a City Council who felt as he did, the establishment (referring to the Nauvoo Expositor) would be declared a nuisance before night.… Hyrum Smith believed the best way was to smash the press and pi (or mix up/distort) the type." (History of the Church, vol. 6, pp. 441, 445)

The Nauvoo City Council "passed an ordinance declaring the Nauvoo Expositor a nuisance" and ordered the press to be destroyed. Under the date of June 10, 1844, we find the following in Joseph Smith's History:

"The Council... issued an order to me to abate the said nuisance. I immediately ordered the Marshal to destroy it without delay.… About 8 p.m., the Marshal returned and reported that he had removed the press, type, printed paper, and fixtures into the street and destroyed them." (History of the Church vol. 6, p. 432)

Mormon historian B. H. Roberts admitted that "the legality of the action of the Mayor and City Council was, of course, questionable,... neither proof or argument for legality are convincing. On the grounds of expediency or necessity the action is more defensible." (History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 432) Vilate Kimball, the wife of Heber C. Kimball and a faithful Mormon, wrote: "June 11th. Nauvoo was a scene of excit[e]ment last night. Some hundreds of the brethren turned out and burned the press of the opposite party." (Letter published in Life of Heber C. Kimball, p. 340)

At first Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum fled to Iowa to avoid arrest, but they were accused of being cowards and urged to return to save Nauvoo from the possibility of destruction. They finally went to Carthage, Illinois, where they were arrested for destroying the printing press. The Smiths were allowed to post bail for this offense but were then held on a charge of treason against the State of Illinois. While they were being held at Carthage a mob attacked the jail and both Joseph and Hyrum were shot dead by their assailants.

In the Mormon Church's Doctrine and Covenants, 135:3-4, we find these words concerning Joseph Smith's death: "Joseph Smith, the prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it... When Joseph went up to Carthage to deliver himself up… he said: 'I am going like a lamb to the slaughter...' "

While we agree with the Mormons that there is no way to justify the unlawful and brutal acts of the mob at Carthage, it is going beyond the facts to compare the death of Joseph with that of Jesus. The Mormon leaders seem to be appealing to Isaiah 53:7 which says, "He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth." In the New Testament it is claimed that Christ fulfilled this prophesy (see Acts 8:32). Jesus Christ died without resistance. In 1 Peter 2:23 we read: "Who, when he was reviled, reviled not in return, when he suffered, he did not threaten; but committed himself to him that judges righteously." When Peter tried to defend Jesus with the sword, Jesus told him to "put away your sword into its sheath: shall I not drink the cup which my Father has given Me?" (John 18:11) It is about Jesus that John the baptist cried out, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." -John 1:29

To compare the death of Jesus Christ with the death of Joseph Smith is a far stretch. Jesus willingly laid His life down for others without resisting. He did not argue or fight or resist those who came to kill Him. Most Mormons believe that Joseph Smith died without putting up a struggle, but the historical truth is that he died in a blazing gunfight with his enemies. In the History of the Church, vol. 6, pp. 617-18, written by Mormon historians, the following account is given concerning Smith's death:

"...there was... a discharge of three or four firearms.... Joseph sprang to his coat for his six-shooter… he discharged his six-shooter in the stairway… two or three barrels of which missed fire. "Joseph,… dropped his pistol on the floor, and sprang into the window..."

John Taylor (November 1, 1808-July 25, 1887) who became the 3rd president of the church, testified that Joseph Smith "snapped the pistol six successive times; only three of the barrels, however, were discharged. I afterwards understood that two or three were wounded by these discharges, two of whom, I am informed died." (History of the Church, vol. 7, pp. 102-3)

From the preceding information it can be seen that the death of Joseph Smith can in no way be compared to the death of Jesus. Jesus did go like a "lamb to the slaughter," but Joseph Smith died like a raging lion. Jesus willingly laid down His life, while Joseph Smith ran from the law, reluctantly turned himself in, resisted those that opposed him and ultimately retaliated and killed two men before he was killed. A "lamb" does not fight, and kill others on its way to the slaughter.

Today the Joseph Smith of Mormon adoration is a highly romanticized version of the real Joseph Smith. While possessing natural abilities and talents, his personal character was far from the saintly image his followers mold him into. No doubt he was a leader and very persuasive. But based upon the evidence, compared with the Bible, Joseph Smith was a man who persuaded people to believe the wrong things about God, Jesus, behavior and salvation, and therefore was successfully leading people in the wrong direction. Even today, the person and teachings of Joseph Smith remain the foundation of the Mormon church and religion. While mainstream Mormonism today does not accept Joseph Smith's teachings on polygamy, they do hold to his teachings on many other doctrines that contradict the Bible and the Jesus Christ of the Bible.

Don't be fooled. Just because the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" has the name "Jesus Christ" in their title does not mean they believe in or love the Jesus Christ of the Bible. Joseph Smith and Mormonism presents a different Jesus than the one revealed in the Bible.

The Jesus Christ of the Bible is alive today as Lord and God, and He alone is able to save and transform all those who call upon Him in truth. You have His word on it.

Who will you put your faith in, Joseph Smith or Jesus Christ?

Information for this tract is from the following sites:

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For other blogs I've written about Mormonism and Christianity go to:

Intro to Mormon Blogs

5 Reasons Mormons and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are not Christians

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

5 Reasons Mormons and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are not “Christians”

Many people believe that Mormons are just another branch of Christianity, but a sincere look at their beliefs will reveal that they oppose every fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith.

The Doctrine of God

Mormonism teaches that the God (Heavenly Father) over this world was once a man on another planet who earned his right to become a God and now is in heaven with his celestial wife (Heavenly Mother) producing spirit babies to inhabit earthly human bodies who can also become gods. According to Mormonism, Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are three separate gods. –Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith by Joseph Fielding Smith pg.345 -Doctrine & Covenants, Sect. 130:22
Christianity teaches that there is only one God who exists eternally, is not married, and is a Spirit, not a man. He has always been God and never had to earn His Godhood, unlike the Mormon god, the God of the Bible is truly “eternal.” According to the Bible the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost make up the One Triune God. God is a three in One Being. There are no other gods in the universe. God has always been the only eternal God who does not change. –Numbers 23:19, Is. 43:10, 44:6, Psalm 90:2, John 4:24

The Doctrine of Jesus Christ

Mormonism teaches that Jesus and Lucifer (Satan) are spirit brothers and both sons of the Mormon God, Elohim. You and I are also spirit brothers and sisters of Jesus and Lucifer. Jesus is also another Mormon god. According to Mormonism, Jesus is not the One and only Eternal God the Son, but one of many sons of God. Jesus is the spirit child of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother, and he is the physical son of Heavenly Father and the mother Mary who was betrothed to Joseph. Heavenly Father had sexual relations with the virgin Mary to conceive a physical body for Jesus.-Mormon Doctrine, Bruce McConkie pg.163-164, Journal of Discourses pg. 50-51, -Gordon B. Hinckley, LDS President and Prophet, Deseret News, Church News section, Salt Lake City, Utah, week ending June 20, 1998, pg.7

Christianity teaches that Jesus is the one and only Eternal Son of God, God in Human flesh who came to die for our sins, rise from the dead and offer us eternal life through faith in Him. Jesus Christ is the human manifestation of the Eternal God. He was “God in the flesh.” He alone existed before He was born. He is not the “spirit brother of Lucifer/the devil,” and He is not just another “spirit child” of God the Father. He is the only “eternal” Son of God, and He is Creator of all the angels and rules over them. He is God’s One and only Redeemer of mankind, and He single-handedly finished the work necessary for our salvation. All we do is receive His finished work and trust Him. -Isaiah 9:6, Micah 5:2, Colossians 1:15-17, John 1:1-3, 14, 10:30, 14:6-9, 20:28, 2 Corinthians 5:19, Hebrews 1:1-3, Romans 9:5, 1 Timothy 3:16

The Doctrine of Man

Mormonism teaches that each person existed as a spirit child with Heavenly Father before they were born. Their physical life here on earth is a journey to get back to their Heavenly Father and potentially become a god like he is and populate other planets with their own spirit children. Mormonism attributes godlike qualities to man and manlike qualities to god making both God and man equals. According to Mormon teaching man through obedience to Mormonism can “evolve” into a God in the same way the “God” over this world was once a man on another planet. –Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses Volume 11 page 269

Christianity teaches that man is created in the womb and did not preexist before physical conception. We are born sinners because of our relation to Adam and Eve and we are in need of a Savior to forgive us of our sin. To be forgiven each of us must put personal faith in the true Jesus Christ to go to heaven where we will worship the one and only God forever and continue to be His children. We will not become gods. Jesus is the only One who preexisted before He was born because He is God. The teaching that man can become a god is blasphemous according to Biblical Christianity. Romans 3:9-23, 5:6-21, 6:23, 1 John 1:8-10, John 3:16, Ephesians 2:1-10

The Doctrine of Salvation

Mormonism teaches that salvation in its highest form is becoming a god through strict obedience to all the Mormon laws which they call the Gospel. Salvation is accomplished through each person doing their best and Jesus helping with the rest. Only the devil and terribly bad go to a literal hell. For the most part almost everyone will end up being saved either in this life or they’ll get another chance in the afterlife to believe Mormonism. The “Gospel” according to Mormonism is not a simple message about the life and work of Jesus Christ, but it is a group of laws that must be obeyed. According to Mormon teaching you cannot reject Joseph Smith and reach the highest heaven. -Doctrines of Salvation Volume 1, pg. 190 & Vol.3, pg.91

Christianity teaches we’re all born sinners and all sin willfully and therefore we’re in desperate need of a Savior. God in His goodness must punish our sins but He does not want to punish us for our sins. God Himself came to earth in Jesus Christ to take our punishment. Jesus died for our sins, rose from the dead and gives forgiveness and eternal life to anyone and everyone who repents and trusts in Him. Salvation is by His grace and not by human works. It is a free gift received by a humble heart and guarantees us a place in heaven with God, not as gods, but as His children. Those who reject this salvation will end up in a literal hell forever with no chance of escape in the afterlife. The “Gospel” according to Biblical Christianity is the message about Jesus Christ, His death on the cross for sins, and His resurrection. It is not a law to be obeyed, but a message to be believed. After someone believes in the Gospel then good works flow from a life that is saved by faith in Jesus Christ. –John 14:6, Acts 4:10-12, Ephesians 2:8-10, Titus 3:3-7

The Doctrine of the Afterlife

Mormonism teaches that in the afterlife there are 3 distinct heavens: the terrestrial, telestial and celestial; a spirit prison and outer darkness. The highest heaven is where you can be a god with your goddess wife/wives and make spirit babies to inhabit other planets. The other two heavens are sub-heavens where saints and angels are, but Heavenly Father does not live there. The spirit prison is where unbelievers who die get another chance to receive the Mormon Gospel and go to one of the heavens. Outer darkness, or Mormon hell exists for a small few like the devil, the demons and those who reject direct revelation from God. It is possible that those who are excommunicated from or leave the Mormon Church might end up in hell.

Christianity teaches there is only one heaven and one hell. Everyone who is born again through faith in Jesus Christ goes to heaven because their sins are forgiven and they are saved. Everyone who rejects Jesus Christ, rejects their own salvation and ends up in hell with the devil and his demons. Heaven and hell are both eternal in duration. People decide in this life where they will spend eternity by accepting or rejecting the Gospel message. There is no second chance to be saved in the afterlife. This is why Biblical Christianity commands all believers to share the Gospel message with those who are not saved because once a person dies their eternity is sealed. –John 3:3, 18, 36, 2 Thessalonians 1:8-10, Hebrews 9:27-28, Revelation 20:11-15, 21:6-8


Mormonism teaches that Jesus Christ failed in keeping the true church together and that God used Joseph Smith to restore the “true church.” -Doctrine and Covenants 20:1
Joseph Smith said, “I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam…Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet.”-History of the Church, volume 6 pg.408, 409
So the sinner Joseph Smith claims that he was able to fix what the sinless Son of God Jesus Christ failed at? I find that hard to believe. But Mormonism teaches that Joseph Smith and Jesus Christ are the same kind of person and child of God. They reduce Christ to a mere man.
Christianity tells us in the Bible that Jesus said, “I will build My church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” -Matthew 16:18 and 1 Corinthians 3:11 says that no other foundation can be laid for the church except Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “All power in heaven and earth has been given to Me. Go into all nations, preach the Gospel to every creature, and make disciples...and I am with you even to the end of the age.” -Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15
We are only to boast in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:31, Proverbs 27:1-2
So either Jesus failed and Joseph is God’s new man, or Jesus spoke the truth and has all power and Joseph Smith is a deceiver and leading multitudes into a false religion. Honestly, the only things that are similar between Mormonism and Christianity are the words used: Heavenly Father, Jesus, Gospel, Salvation, Grace, Atonement, etc. However, the definitions for those words are totally different.

Mormonism was founded by one man, Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith claims that God, through an unproved vision in 1820, called him to restore the “true church” and that all other Christian believers had gone apostate from the truth. Basically, Joseph Smith claimed that Jesus Christ failed in keeping His Christian church together and that God needed Joseph to accomplish the “restoration of the true church.”

Christianity was founded by God, through the prophets of the Old Testament, the authors of the New Testament, and the Person and power of Jesus Christ. The truths of God are not lost because God, not man, is in charge of it. Jesus, the Son of God, is the central focus, and He claimed that He would faithfully keep all of His true followers. The “Christian Church” is not an organization like the LDS Church that requires membership but an invisible entity comprised of all born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ all over the world.

Mormonism teaches that it is the only “true church” and that all other churches are the churches of the devil. -1 Nephi 14:10

Christianity teaches that God in His wisdom has divinely allowed there to be a variety among visible local and international churches, but that the “true church” consists of all genuine believers regardless of what particular visible church they attend. You do not become a “member” of the true church, you are born again into it through faith in Christ.

Mormonism’s founding Prophet Joseph Smith taught polygamy, or plural marriage, was necessary for salvation and that God had ordained polygamy. The modern Mormon Church has changed its doctrines on polygamy after they began having problems with the law and government. But original Mormonism as taught by Joseph Smith embraced polygamy. Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism would no doubt be excommunicated from the LDS Mormon Church today for teaching and practicing polygamy. He is historically documented as to having 34 wives at one time. 11 of those wives were taken from married men. These facts can be easily validated by history and a little research. This is an unfortunate truth that modern day Mormonism is desperately trying to erase from it’s past. Brigham Young, the 2nd LDS Prophet followed Joseph’s teachings faithfully and had 56 wives for himself. Both Joseph and Brigham would not be allowed to hold leadership roles in the modern day mainline Mormon Church.
The Fundamentalist Mormon groups follow Joseph Smith’s teachings on polygamy. They are not ashamed of the polygamous past of Mormonism and Joseph Smith. Fundamentalist Mormons believe that Mainline Mormonism has gone apostate because they reject the teachings of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young in regard to plural marriage. They are called “Fundamentalist Mormons” because they believe the “fundamentals” of Mormonism. And polygamy was a fundamental doctrine of the early Mormon Church from the 1840’s through the 1890’s. However, according to Mainline Mormonism, God can change His mind and change His doctrines as time and cultures change. This constant changing of Doctrines they call “progressive revelation.” But since the god of Mormonism is an exalted man it makes sense that he would change his mind like a man.

Mormonism changes its Doctrines with every passing prophet as though God cannot make up His mind. Either God is wrong or the “so called prophets” themselves are mistaken and not hearing from God at all. Any prophet who speaks for God what God has not spoken is a false prophet. Any religion built upon a false prophet is a false religion. And a false religion will lead people astray from truth, God and ultimately eternal life.

Christianity teaches that God does not change, His truth spans time and culture. The Bible teaches that any prophet who speaks against what God has already spoken is a false prophet. God’s Word says that we are to have only one wife and the practice of polygamy is a sin against Him. Mormonism taught through Joseph Smith that God commanded polygamy as a way of salvation. Mormonism teaches that you must be part of their visible church organization to be saved. This just goes to show that they don’t understand that salvation is a relationship with God, not a religion or church membership. As we said earlier, Christianity teaches that the true church is invisible and consists of every genuine believer in the true Jesus Christ regardless of what visible denomination or church you go to.

The Book of Mormon cannot be validated as a historical document by geology, archeology, anthropology, science or history. Mormons believe by faith in a “feeling” that their book is true even without evidence. They feel that it is true, therefore to them it is true. Truth is no longer based on testable facts but testimonial feelings. They encourage you to pray and ask God if its true even though there is no real historical evidence. God commands us to love Him with all of our “minds” and this would encourage anyone to research all the facts and make a wise decision, especially if a book is claiming to be from God.

The Bible’s claims have been proven by eyewitnesses, history, archeology, prophecy and the personal experiences of those who believe its message. The “feelings” follow the “facts” rather than in Mormonism where they tell you that a “feeling” establishes fact. No, we put faith in facts, and the feeling follow last.

Mormons are often discouraged from reading material that might be “anti-Mormon.” If Mormons are in the truth then there should be no threat or fear of researching the claims made by those who do not believe in Mormonism. Ask your Mormon friend if the statements or quotes in this brochure are accurate Mormon doctrine or not.
In the Bible God commands us to love Him with ALL of our heart, soul, MIND and strength. He says in Isaiah, “Come, let us REASON together...” Isaiah 1:8
God is not threatened by good questions, strong critics or scientific claims. He created man in His image and gave him a thinking mind. He is the God over history and science. He does not want us blindly believing a lie but rather with eyes wide open He wants us to study, research and reason the claims of the Bible with a teachable heart. Truth and facts are more important than feelings.

Biblical Christianity brings you into a loving relationship with God through the finished work of His Son Jesus Christ.

Mormonism brings you into a religion of works, striving to become a god, and never offering a guarantee about where you’ll end up after you die.

Biblical Christianity has not changed for 2000 years, and Jesus has faithfully transformed the lives of millions of different people in different nations and cultures and ages throughout history. It’s Jesus, not a “religion” that transforms lives.

The methods by which believers practice worship or gather together is different and unique in every age and culture, but the message of the true Gospel has never changed. The Gospel is not a list of rules but a message of love and hope. The Gospel of Jesus Christ brings us to a Person, not principles. It’s a relationship not a religion.

The Christian Gospel
Do you have a personal relationship with the right Jesus Christ? Do you have the assurance of eternal life and the confidence that all your sins have been forgiven? Have you experienced the radical life changing power of God’s Holy Spirit through being born again? You can know all of these things and more if you will come to Jesus Christ in faith. Jesus died on the cross for our sins against God. He alone paid the price for our sins and rose from the dead. He alone is God the Son and therefore He alone is the One we go to for salvation and eternal life. You can know God and have assurance of your salvation without being a member of the LDS Church.
If the Mormon Church died on the cross for you sins, then trust in the LDS Church for salvation. If Joseph Smith died for your sin then he can tell you how to be saved.
Joseph Smith and Jesus Christ have two major differences. Joseph Smith was only a man and he was a sinner like us. Jesus Christ is God’s Eternal Son, and He never sinned so that He could be a perfect sacrifice for our sins.

Joseph Smith and the Mormon Church have done nothing in providing salvation for you. All they have done is turn the eternal God into a mere man with wives and babies in heaven; Jesus into the devil’s brother; Heaven into upper, middle, lower class, and a spirit prison; Hell into a dark place for a select few; the Gospel Message into a Gospel Law of legalism and works; Salvation into becoming a god; and the death of Christ on the cross as a cheap death that really didn’t do much but open up the way for us to be self-righteous and earn our way to heaven... No! Those who trust in Mormonism are headed for a real hell not heaven! I know that sounds hard and very judgmental, but the Bible warns us often of false teachers, false prophets, false christs and a false gospel message that leads people to destruction forever. You cannot go to heaven by believing in a false god, a false Jesus or a false Gospel. Listen, you might not think this is important, but your soul’s eternity is at stake. Jesus and the Bible alone offer you the truth of God and an opportunity to repent and know Christ personally. If you do not stand for the Truth, you will fall for anything. Knowing truth is a choice we all must make.

What will you choose: Jesus Christ or Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon or the Bible, the LDS Church or the Christian Church, Salvation as a free gift of grace or salvation and godhood by works?

It was Jesus Christ, not Joseph Smith, that said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, and no one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6

Dear friend, Trust in the right Jesus and come to the Father!

For other blogs about Mormonism go to:

Intro to Mormon Blogs

I thought it would be a great time for me to post some of my notes and studies on Mormonism. While I understand that a lot of curiosity and controversy about Mormonism has arisen as the result of Mitt Romney (a professing Mormon) running for president of the United States, I also believe that it is healthy for any religion that claims to have the "truth" to be thoroughly studied, investigated and tested so that anyone and everyone may evaluate its history, teachings and practices. This is a great discussion on the forefront of our American culture today and worthy of meaningful conversation.

As a Bible believing Christian I welcome and encourage any honest seekers to investigate the deep and sacred doctrines of Christianity, the origins and practices of the faith, and the historicity and trustworthiness of the Scriptures. There is nothing "off limits," and no rock should be left un-turned. I think all religions should welcome scrutiny, hard questions and even skepticism. Jesus said the greatest commandment was to love God with all your heart, all your soul, and ALL YOUR MIND. -Matthew 22:37. To refuse to investigate the truth claims of any religion because of personal bias, tradition or feelings is to neglect to love God with ALL you mind. God created our minds to be used in pursuing Him, His wisdom and truth. We must never say, "Don't confuse me with the facts, my mind is already made up." Jesus said, "If you continue in His word, you are His disciple and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free." John 8:31-32. Truth can be discovered. Truth can be known. And truth can change our lives forever. May God bless you as you seek His truth with a pure heart.

The following blogs will lay out the differences between Mormonism and Christianity, Mormonism's founder Joseph Smith and Christianity's founder Jesus Christ, and will also mention some of the differences between modern day main-stream Mormonism and Mormonism's foundations established upon its polygamist founders and presidents.

As you read these blogs please ask yourself the following questions:
1-Is the information I'm being presented with true or false?
2-Based upon this information is Mormonism a Christian religion?
3-And now would I consider a Mormon to be a Christian?

And so, as I post these blogs about Mormonism over the next few days I hope that they are educational and enlightening. Please feel free to investigate all my facts, and if you have any questions, concerns or want to continue the conversation you can email me personally at:

The goal of these blogs is to point people to Jesus Christ who is the Way, the Truth and the Life!