Errors of Mormonism Comparsison chart

Comparison Chart

MORMONISM

CHRISTIANITY

Many Gods
Joseph Smith taught, “I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 370; emphasis added).
One Trinitarian God
The Bible teaches that the Father is God, the Son is God (John 1:1; 20:28 ) and the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4); and that they are distinct Persons in the Godhead not to be confused with one another (Matthew 28:19; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6). There is only one true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:10; 1 Corinthians 8:4).
God, Once a Man, Progressed to Godhood
Joseph Smith taught, “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man. . . . I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see. . . . [H]e was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did. . .” (Ibid., 345, 346; italics in original).
God Has Always Been God
God has always been God (Genesis 21:33; Psalm 90:2; Isaiah 40:28). God is spirit, not an exalted man with flesh and bone (John 4:24; Luke 24:39; Hosea 11:9; Numbers 23:19). God does not change (Malachi 3:6), nor does he grow in knowledge (Isaiah 40:13). There is none like him, he is unique, he is the only true God (Exodus 8:10; 2 Samuel 7:22; Isaiah 43:10; 44:6-8; 45:5, 21-22; 46:9; 1 Corinthians 8:5). (Note that though Jesus, being God, did become human in his incarnation [John 1:1, 14], this is quite different from a man progressing to become a god.)
Humans Can Become Gods
Joseph Smith taught, “Here, then, is eternal life to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you” (Ibid., 346).
Humans Cannot Become Gods
Men cannot become gods (Isaiah 43:10). Man is a created being, unlike God who has always been (Genesis 21:33). God will not share his glory with another (Isaiah 42:8).
Humans Were Procreated in the Preexistence
M. Russell Ballard wrote, “Before the world was created, we all lived as the spirit children of our Heavenly Father [and Mother]. Through a natural process of inheritance we received in embryo the traits and attributes of our Heavenly Father” (Ballard, Our Search for Happiness, 70). Mormons also infer this from the preexistence of Jesus Christ.
Humans Were Created
Humans are created, not procreated, by God (Genesis 1:26; 2:7). Our existence begins in the womb of our mothers (Psalm 139:13). Humans cannot compare themselves to Jesus and his preexistence, for they are not deity by nature, as is Jesus. He preexisted because he is God (Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1; 17:5; Philippians 2:6-7). Jesus alone is from heaven, we are from the earth (John 3:13, 31; 8:23-24).
A Complete Apostasy of the Church
M. Russell Ballard wrote, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that God’s full authority was lost from the earth for centuries following the mortal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. . . . In short, the church Christ organized gradually disintegrated, and the fullness of the gospel was lost” (Ibid., 26, 31).
The Church Remains Forever
In Matthew 16:18 Jesus declared, “I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Given that Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth, we can trust that this promise would not fail (Matthew 28:18). While there are several passages that refer to an apostasy, it is never said to be a universal or complete apostasy (e.g., Acts 20:30; 2 Thessalonians 2:3; 1 Timothy 4:1). Rather, we know that God will be glorified in the Church throughout all ages (Ephesians 3:21), and that Christians have received a kingdom that cannot be shaken (Hebrews 12:28; cf. Daniel 2:44).
The Bible is Corrupted and Incomplete
Gordon B. Hinckley wrote, “Latter-day Saints recognize that errors have crept into this sacred work because of the manner in which the book has come to us. Moreover, they regard it as not being complete as a guide” (Hinckley, What of the Mormons?, 26).
The Bible is Reliable and Sufficient
God has promised that his word, the Bible, would stand forever (Isaiah 40:3). We know that his word is true (John 17:17), contains wisdom unto salvation, and thoroughly equips Gods people for every good work (2 Timothy 3:15-17). God has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:2).
Works Necessary to Live with God Forever (Salvation)
M Russell Ballard wrote, “Jesus Christ accomplished two incomparable feats through His atoning sacrifice. First, He conquered death, and as a result all people will have the privilege of everlasting life with a resurrected body. Second, He suffered the burden and pains of our sins so that we might have the privilege of eternal life in the presence of God if we have faith in Christ as our Savior and choose to repent of our sins and keep His commandments” (Ballard, Our Search for Happiness, 88).
Salvation is Based on the Righteousness of Christ
The Bible never interprets mere resurrection as salvation (John 5:29). Those who receive Jesus will have eternal life, but the wrath of God remains on those who reject him (John 3:36). While Christians are called to keep God’s commandments (e.g. John 14:15), salvation is in no way based on our own righteous deeds (Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:5-8). It is through the atonement of Christ that we are made perfect (Hebrews 10:13-18). The atonement took place, not in the Garden of Gethsemane but through his blood shed on the cross (Colossians 1:20; 1 Peter 2:24).
Heaven (s)
There are three heavenly kingdoms: the celestial, terrestrial and telestial. Mormons argue for this belief from 1 Corinthians 15:40-41 and 2 Corinthians 12:2 (where the apostle Paul says he was caught up to the “third heaven”). See “Three Levels of Heaven” under “The Beliefs of Mormonism” above.
Heaven
The context of 1 Corinthians 15:40-41 is the contrast between resurrection (celestial or heavenly) and pre-resurrection (terrestrial or earthly) bodies, not heavenly kingdoms. The Bible does speak of three heavens: the atmospheric heaven, where birds fly and from which the rains fall (Genesis 7:23;8:2); the astronomic heaven, where the stars and planets reside (Genesis 1:14, 15; 22:17); and the third heaven, the throne of God (Matthew 6:9; Revelation 4:2).
Hell
Joseph Fielding Smith wrote, “Those who live lives of wickedness may also be heirs of salvation, that is, they too shall be redeemed from death and from hell eventually. These, however, must suffer in hell the torments of the damned until they pay the price of their sinning, for the blood of Christ will not cleanse them” (Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, 133-134).
Hell
One’s abode in hell is as eternal as one’s abode in heaven (Matthew 25:46). There is no second chance after death (Hebrews 9:27). At the final judgment, men either receive the resurrection of life or the resurrection of condemnation (Daniel 12:2; John 5:29)they are assigned either to heaven or hell

 

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22 comments on “Errors of Mormonism Comparsison chart

  1. A fair enough summary actually. Nice job.

    I would clarify, however, that Mormons consider the “oneness” spoken of in the Bible (and the Book of Mormon) to be a oneness of purpose.

    Mormonism is actually close to “social trinitarianism” in its views. We consider the Father, Son and Spirit to be 3 distinct persons. However, we consider them to indwell in love within each other. In short, they are so unified in thought, feeling, and will that they might as well be one God. And they are. But they are still three different persons.

  2. Oh no – not another “Mormon theology according to me…” Please Pilgrim go to a real honest-to-goodness source (not a box of Cracker Jacks) for your information. You are so off base and and ill-informed that it would take more time and space to correct your errors than is available here. You have no more understanding about Mormon theology than a baby sitting on it mothers lap. If you feel the need to comment please do your homework get away from the the anti-Mormon propaganda. It may be new to you but all this has all been answered before – ad naseum.

    JLFuller
    http://mormonthing.wordpress.com/

  3. hhhmmmmmm, Seth how come you can tell me that the table is a fair enough summary yet JLFuller claims it to be nonsense? Let me just reiterate JLFuller you seem to be very aggressive in your response…it seems it has hit a nerve. seth i appreciate your post and i find it interesting.

    I wont accept comments with links to other websites for simple reasons that this is a Christian Blog and does not promote or endorse mormonism whatsoever.

    I have a friend who is a Mormom and we have discussed his beliefs and mine several times and i have sat and been told about your beliefs by american mormons on a mission to the UK. I have also attended a Mormon meeting and read up on mormonism. I consider myself to have a decent yet limited knowledge, but the knowledge i do have is enough for me to dismiss Mormonism as a false religion

    I do not say that to accuse you of being evil. I have respect for Mormons and their view on family and the passion they have for their belefs. I pray that Jesus will bring you into all truth through the Holy Spirit.

    I am currently busy at present and cannot reply in depth, but i suggest you go to http://www.defendingcontending.com and read up on a Christian response to the FAIRs websites belief’s. You will see that they are clearly errored, but the bottom line is that if one is not Born again, he is without the spirit and without the spirit one is blind to the truth of the one true God.

    Please understand I do not seek to mock your faith. May Jesus Christ lead you into the truth through the work of his Holy Spirit.

  4. Well,

    You have to understand, we Mormons get attacked A LOT on the internet, so I hope you’ll understand if some of us are a bit touchy. I get a bit aggressive myself on occasion.

    As for why the difference…

    One of the main problems we encounter when Mormon and traditional Christians dialogue online is that we come from very different assumptions about religion.

    The primary concern of the traditional Christian, in my experience, is defense of a body of orthodoxy. Correct belief is paramount and a great deal of time and energy is spent defining the orthodoxy, maintaining and preserving orthodoxy, and transmitting it. For traditional Christians, who is “Christian” is defined by how closely they adhere to this accepted orthodoxy.

    By this standard, even I would admit we Mormons are not Christian. We certainly do not fall within this body of orthodoxy. A Catholic and an Evangelical may have their disagreements – even strenuous and angry at times – but there is still a sense of “close enough” in the common beliefs that allow them to view each other as “Christian” just the same.

    Mormonism is admittedly, very different. I think an apt comparison would be to say that we are just as different from traditional Christianity as the Church of apostles Peter and Paul was from Judaism at that time.

    However, Mormons come from a very different assumption about and approach to religion.

    Orthodoxy has never been the primary concern of Mormonism. We have no creeds (no – the Articles of Faith do not qualify). Sure, we like to try and maintain a bit of an orthodoxy. But we’re not very careful about it, and we don’t spend a lot of ink on the subject generally. When we go in for a recommend from our bishop for admittance to the temple – one of the interview questions is not – “do you believe that the Father, Son and Spirit are three SEPARATE beings?” Nor is it – “do you believe that works are necessary for salvation?”

    No, the questions are almost entirely focused on whether we have lived up to, or tried to live up to, the sacred covenants we made with God at baptism. My bishop, frankly, doesn’t care whether I’m a modalist, a tri-theist, or a social trinitarian. He doesn’t even really care if I believe in Mother in Heaven, or Celestial polygamy, or any number of topics that Protestant critics of Mormonism spend so much time worrying about. Neither is it of much concern in the Mormon Church if you are like me or if you are like JLFuller. Both of us are welcome. If you wished to join our Church and yet keep your current views of the Trinity, for instance, you could actually probably do it, and not be of much concern to most Mormons (unless you started being disruptive about it). Our Church just doesn’t overly concern itself with whether you personally have the correct beliefs. We have other things to concern us in the scriptures.

    Mormons get primarily two things out of the scriptures:

    1. a divine narrative we can pattern our own lives after and

    2. a book of God-given ethics

    (both of which are very much focused on the redemptive power of Christ’s Atonement)

    Systematic orthodoxy is, you’ll notice, not one of those two things. Sometimes we Mormons, mostly due to the influence of our Protestant neighbors, will make some attempts at orthodoxy. But we’re not really trained in it and instinctively, our hearts really aren’t in it either. In the end, it just doesn’t concern us much.

    So, when we talk about who is Christian and who is not, what WE mean is stuff like:

    – do you try to follow Christ’s Sermon on the Mount?
    – do you try to invoke Christ’s Atonement in your life?
    – are you willing to repent of your sins?
    – do you try to behave as a Christian should?

    To us, the orthodoxy-oriented questions that our Protestant and Catholic neighbors are so concerned with, are really beside the point. Mormons don’t have an orthodoxy. We have more of an orthopraxy (correct practice) and a divine history and destiny.

    Really, we are speaking a different language than the rest of the Christian world. Your concerns are not our concerns. As a result, we approach the same ideas very differently and often define them in ways a Protestant or Catholic does not understand. We often get accused, by Evangelicals, of being dishonest because of these breakdowns in communication.

    So if you ask a Mormon – “are you Christian?” – they will quickly answer yes. But, if you press them on their beliefs, you will indeed find that they believe very different things from the rest of Christianity. This is not because the Mormon in question is being deliberately dishonest. Nor is it because she belongs to a religion that has indoctrinated her with dishonest answers. We really just honestly define the word differently – at all levels of our Church – from the prophet, down to the lowliest member. And we haven’t had enough open dialogue with our Christian neighbors to really understand just how different we are.

    So, I hope that explains why you can have different approaches to Mormon belief, even among our own membership. I also hope it helps you understand why Mormons behave the way they do, and why many of us are so confused when you tell us we are not Christian. We don’t define the word the same way you do. Nor do we approach religion itself the same way you do. Our fundamental worldview is entirely different.

    I don’t expect you to agree with this different approach. But I would hope, at the very least, that you realize we really aren’t trying to be dishonest. We just don’t really understand that we are coming from very different places.

    From a perspective of ethics and divine narrative (the Mormon approach), we are indeed very similar with traditional Christians. We share the same stories, same history, similar goals, similar notions of righteous action, similar focus on the Atonement (yes, I know that is something you might not believe, but it is true). However, from a formalized theological standpoint, we are profoundly different.

    It took me a lot of study and interaction with other Christians to figure it out, but our theology (even if it is in rough draft status) completely undermines and plays havoc with traditional Christianity’s theology. They really almost cannot exist in the same room – that’s how bad it is. But due to our carefree attitude about orthodoxy, we Mormons usually don’t “get” this.

    So anyway, sorry about the confusion.

  5. Thankyou for your correspondence Seth. I understand that Mormons get attacked on the internet and indeed i do not believe that the method for interaction between Mormons and Christians is via the internet because as I am sure you will appreciate from experience, as i can, the debate/discussion is something that goes around in circles so often and that both parties refuse to back down. Thus internet blod comments and discussion can become tiresome and time-wasting to a certain degree.

    I have friends who are mormons and they do deem themselves to be Christian and one was actually surprised by the amount i know about the Mormon faith on having a one to one discussion with him. Mormons and Christians have fundamentally differing beliefs. I do not seek to “attack” mormons per se….that is the individuals….but what i will speak out against is the doctrine of the church…which is…as the Christian puts it….false and heretical.

    You would do the same if a Mormon sect was set up that was claiming Orthodox Mormonism so-to-speak was wrong also. If you get me? For instance here are a few differences in Mormons and Christians….I have quoted the Bible here to compare with some Mormon statements. Thus I see that the Mormon revelations as revealed by supposed prophets……contradict the Scriptures…..thus i refute the claim as false. I must apologise however for the large number of fundamentalist Christians who do not seek to engage in intellectual dialogue but rather say harsh words and speak damnation upon you. That is not how Christians are to show the love of Christ to those who are lost. As I am sure you will agree, there are so many differences between Mormonism and Christianity that it takes one to sit down face to face and dialogue over them. For instance there are many verses that Mormonism takes out of context and thus i would want to sit down and show that. Likewise I am sure you want like to show why you deem your meaning to be correct.

    THE GOD OF MORMONISM

    “In spite of the opposition of the sects, in the face of direct charges of blasphemy, the Church proclaims the eternal truth: ‘AS MAN IS, GOD ONCE WAS: AS GOD IS, MAN MAY BE.” (Apostle James Talmage, The Articles of Faith, p. 430)

    “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man,.,. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345)

    “God himself, the Father of us all, is a glorified, exalted, immortal, resurrected Man! (Apostle Bruce McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1979 edition, p. 643)

    “… you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you,…” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 346

    “If we should take a million of worlds like this and number their particles, we should find that there are more Gods than there are particles of matter in those worlds.” (Apostle Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 2, p. 345)

    THE GOD OF THE BIBLE

    “…the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.” (Deuteronomy 4:39)

    “… for I am God, and not man;…” (Hosea 11:9)

    “For I am the LORD, I change not;…” (Malachi 3:6)

    “Therefore thou art great, O LORD God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee…’ (II Samuel 7:22)

    “For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.” (Psalms 86:10)

    “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me:…” (Isaiah 45:5)

    Another verse from the Bible that i believe points out the error Joseph Smith is that of Jude. Obviously Jospeh Smith claimed that the Church had gone into Apostasy…..that is simply not the case….Jude says “…I found it necessary to write to you to contend earnestly for the faith once and for all delivered to the Saints. For certain men have crept in unoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, who turn the grace of God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

    “the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ”….the repeated word of Lord here and the statement of the only Lord God shows that the Lord is one indeed. It is no coencidence that Jude places Jesus beside the only Lord God and uses Lord also as a prefix to both God and Jesus.

    Also “…contend for the faith once and for all deliverd to the saints”

    Christians are called to contend for and defend the truth…there are so many false teachings and religions out there….islam….prosperity gospel….word of faith…..hinduism and Mormonism (we agree to disagree here). Also note how Jude says “once and for all delivered to the Saints”. That is a final and definitive statement just like Christ said “it is finished” on the cross. For instance if we add the two together “once and for all…it is finished” you would agree that both are finalities. So the claim of Joseph Smith that the church went into apostasy is erred.

    From my own personal opinion I dont not believe that Joseph Smith began Mormonism to gain money etc. I believe an angel really did appear. I believe that the angel did claim to be from God. But i believe that the angel was an angel of Satan if not Satan himself masquerading as an angel of light. Consider 1 Cor 11….kjv as this is the only one you accept.

    “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

    4For 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. ……………………….
    ………..

    13For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

    14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

    15Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. ”

    I believe Joseph Smith was duped…..due to a lack of knowledge and discernment. Satan wants confusion in the world. He wants Gods people to be led astray. He raises up false Gods and idols to do this. I believe Mormonism is one such religion. Some biblical passages are hard to understand….Peter himself testified of this saying

    “16As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned(ignorant) and unstable wrest (distort), AS THEY DO ALSO TO OTHER SCRIPTURES, unto their own destruction.

    17Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

    18But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

    The beginnings of Mormonism grossly misunderstood scripture and distorted the true meaning of the text.

    I hope you see where i am coming from and that I am not attacking or mormon bashing. I simply am contending for Biblical Truth, for Jesus Christ and as I am soon to begin seminary training(by the grace of God) I am currently on a learning process and by engaging with such issues my knowledge and experience is increased.

    Thats my spiel over and this section closed. I will not call you brother….but I will call you friend.

    May the Lord lead you into all truth and make you aware of the precious truth and precious grace of the one true God…3 yet 1….eternal and never-changing and mighty to save.

  6. yes your comment was very informative and helpful. thankyou.

    With regards to orthodoxy….it is important and it is something that is under attack within Christianity due to Liberalism and many from within the Emergent Movement.

    You say how orthodoxy is not important…..i do not believe that to be the case…for the bible tells us that the just will live by faith (ROMANS-dont have my bible handy so its a top of the head job). Faith in itself must rest on certain fundmental truths as revelead in the Eternal Word both written and Incarnate (Christ). Thus if these fundamental truths become erred….then they are not truths at all….faith in these erred truths is not saving faith for it is faith in erred beliefs….which are in fact false.

    For instance, if one thinks that Jesus death on the cross means there is no more sin and thus thinks he can sin freely…this is an error and wrong belef…it is not orthodoxy….and this person will not receive forgiveness for he is continuing to sin and the bible makes clear that the regenerate, saved Christian does not make a practice of continually engaging in gross immorality and sin, for the Spirit works to sanctify them.

    If you see my video post on Tim Conway’sermon on the doctrine of Hell you will see one guy i encountered who believes this. Both you and I would agree that his view is false….altho from your statement it seems that he would be welcomed into your church because that is his belief and orthodoxy or “right belief” is not important. But then in order for something to be “best practice” you must first believe that there is something that is the “right belief” that instructs on “best practice”. u get me?

    Or what about the guy in the USA claiming to be Jesus…..he is hispanic and has a bunch of followers. He says there is no sin…no hell….and he likes fine woman and cuban cigars…. this is nothing short of a conman and a disgrace…

    The just will live by faith shows that those who are justified will live by faith….which when genuine leads one to be saved and born-again through trusting in the Christ for their forgiveness, which in turn causes them to be sanctified.

    One can claim to be a Christian but if their life does not reflect it then it is likely that they are not truly saved. But that does not mean Christainity is about works…..or “right practice”……

    the bible says in Isaiah 64 that “All of us have become like one who is unclean,
    and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;”

    Our acts are like filthy rags before God…..and that is just our righteous ones….its not by “best practice” or works that one is saved it is by grace alone through faith alone….which comes from hearing of the word of God (Romans). This faith when genuine produced fruit…that leads to good works….but we are not saved by these….as we will never fully do things right…we are still fallen and won’t be fully redeemed until we are in heaven with Christ and when he restores the new heavens and the new earth. I won’t be my own God though…i will will be worshipping my saviour and forever praising my father in heaven for his mighty love for me in choosing me to save me.

    I understand how difficult it is for Mormons to even be open to what Christians have to say for isnt it in your teaching that if one rejects the Mormon gospel after hearing it or living it that when they die they will be eternally damned and cant move out into the different tiers of heaven?

    Anyyyhooo I am extremely tired and I have work in the morning. Sorry if this doesnt make sense. I have just been writing a talk for the past 5 hours or so!!

    May the Holy Spirit illuminate the love of Christ to you and reveal his precious truth to you friend.

  7. “The just will live by faith shows that those who are justified will live by faith….which when genuine leads one to be saved and born-again through trusting in the Christ for their forgiveness, which in turn causes them to be sanctified.”

    My reading comprehension is a little fuzzy at the moment. Could you clarify what you are saying here? It sounds vaguely Calvinist, but I don’t want to make assumptions.

    “isn’t it in your teaching that if one rejects the Mormon gospel after hearing it or living it that when they die they will be eternally damned and cant move out into the different tiers of heaven?”

    No.

    We have some “rabbinical commentary” that seems (emphasis on “seems”) to suggest this, but it’s only the view of a few isolated church authorities in our past. Other authorities have stated the view that one can move between degrees of glory in the hereafter. Others have taught something remarkably like universalism. The commentary is all over the place, and people can find an appropriate isolated quote to suit whatever position they wish to take on the issue.

    The scriptures however, are less explicit on the issue. They make it clear that there are negative consequences for rejecting the truth to the degree that you have it. Where they are silent is on the final destination of a person who “leaves the faith.”

    My own view, that I’ve derived from Mormon scripture, is that there is forgiveness available for even those who were faithful Mormons, but left, if they are willing to repent and accept Christ as their advocate. I think that the popular refrain on ex-Mormon internet forums that leaving the Church means you are a “Son of Perdition” is just rebellious people being self-important. I do not think it is doctrinal at all.

    But a full explanation would require a full discussion of the Mormon view of the afterlife, which I’m not sure is the point of this thread. You can email me about it and I’d be happy to elaborate if you wish.

  8. Sorry I took so long in returning. I criticized your matrix above because it implies it is a complete and an accurate portrayal of our beliefs on the subject matter presented. It is not. One or two sentences do not do justice to complex and sometimes evolving doctrines and arguments. What you presented is essentially misleading by the absence of the whole story. They are just headlines at best.

    This is your blog. I understand that. You can do as you please however you risk bearing false witness if at the least you do not allow links to our side of the story. I suggest you presented a misleading view. For example: The Teachings of Joseph Smith is not necessarily doctrine. In fact Joseph didn’t write the book. It is a collection of his written and orally delivered messages. Sometimes they were transcribed well after he delivered them by scribes or others who may have got the information second or third hand.

    If you intend to present a view of our doctrine it seems only right that you check our side of the story first or allow us provide links to our sources. I for one am not engaged in a proselytizing effort. My intention is to counter the misinformation being spread by others.

  9. One additional thing. You wrote “Humans Cannot Become Gods. That is not true at least according to the bible. Re-read Psalms 82:1,6-7, 1 John 3:1-3, 2 Peter 1:2-4, Phillipians 2:5-6, Romans 8:15-17, Revelation 21:7 and Genesis 3:22. EArly Church fathers such as Athanasius of Alexandria wrote “God became human so humans would become gods” (On the Incarnation 54:3, PG 25:192B). Maximus the Confessor said “A sure warrant for looking forward with hope to deification of human nature is provided by the incarnation of God, which makes man god to the same degree as God Himself became man.” and “let us become the image of the one whole God, bearing nothing earthly in ourselves, so that we may consort with God and become gods, receiving from God our existence as gods.” These were hertics either. They are still quoted today as authorites on Christian thought.

  10. One correction. These were nothertics either. They are still quoted today as authorites on Christian thought.

    Old eleven thumbs strikes again!

  11. Yes, they do have a theory which is shared by many traditional Christian groups, that man can become more god-like but they stop short of where we go. Theosis is discussed among Catholics and others more than fundamentalists I think. Someone else will have to put a finer point on that than I can.

  12. JLFuller thanks for your comment. I in no way posted that chart as being a full and final representation of Mormonism. It is only a snippet of differences between Christianity and Mormonism.

    With regards to the Scriptures you have quoted I do have to say that they are taken out of context. They do not in anyway suggest men will become Gods…in the true sense of the term God.

    I am cautious of letting this post go on in debate for too long for I am doing this alone and dont have enough time to continually keep coming back. I hope you appreciate that.

    Rev 21:7……i presume you think “shall inherit all things” to mean that we will inherit a creation of our own? No that is not true….in no way does this verse imply that. Rather it implies that we will be fellow inheriters of the new eternal kingdom that is established when Christ returns…If you read verse 6 you will that it is Christ saying that HE will be OUR God AND WE WILL be his sons… i am sorry but the way Mormons distort scripture is seriously annoying….just like you find it annoying when Christians say stuff about Mormonism.

    Genesis 3:22….adam and eve had sinned and they now were living in a fallen state….before they ate of the tree they did not know evil…now they had the capacity to commit it….doesnt mean they were gods…..and God cast them out of the Garden as an act of grace….to stop them eating from the tree of life and hence meaning they lived eternally in this state of sinful, pitiful cursed condition. Again taken out of conext.

    1 John 3:1-3…..this is referring to the true Christian being conformed into the image of Christ….that is without sin and perfect. We dont know what it will be like when we receive our new bodies in heaven but we know we will be like Christ…John is referring to the sinlessness of Christ whilst he was incarnate. Again we are referred to as Children of God….not Gods ourselves.

    2 Peter 1: 2-4…. Again totally taken out of context….the divine nature is not that we are gods ourselves but that we inherit the nature of Christ in that we will become sinless, eternal and (key word) PARTAKERS…..that will occur when the true Christian bears a glorfied body in heaven like Jesus Christ.

    Philippians 2:5-6….Yet again so totally taken out of context it is scary……the whole context of this passage of scripture is humility….”let this mind be in you….” shows believers to be humble as Christ was humble….because in His incarnate state he was fully God and fully human..yet he did not have an arrogance surrounding this reality….if you read on in verse 7 etc… you will see that in no way does this Scripture refer to man becoming God….but refers to Christians have the same mind as Christ in being that we should humble ourselves in service to God before men.

    Romans 8:15-17……..finally…and yet again another example of twisting of Scripture…the context of this passage is that when one is a true believer he is a new creation in Christ Jesus and because of this we need not fear punishment or death because we have been adopted in God’s family….and we can cry out Abba…which was an informal word kind of like dad…and again as above to whole concept of being heirs with Christ is that we will reign eternally with Christ who God has appointed to be heir of all things. (Heb 1:2)

    This teaching on men becoming gods of their own creation so blatantly indicates the desire and selfishness of man to be a god rather than submitting to the one true God….just like Satan said in Genesis 3:4-5 “Then the serpent said to the woman “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God…”.

    Satan tempted Eve by claiming that she and adam could be like God and he tempts Men today by teaching them the same through false teaching.

    i long for you guys to meet with the risen Lord Jesus and I pray that the Holy Spirit will work in your lives to bring to a knowledge of he truth.

    For Christ and His Church In Love

  13. “This teaching on men becoming gods of their own creation so blatantly indicates the desire and selfishness of man to be a god rather than submitting to the one true God”

    I find it interesting that people always assume that the Mormon idea of “godhood” automatically means we do not wish to submit to God the Father of the Bible.

    Where did you get that idea? It isn’t taught by anyone in the Mormon tradition. We always, always, ALWAYS expect to be subject to God the Father. End of story.

    Lucifer sought to displace God, act contrary to His will and set himself up as a light unto everyone INSTEAD of God. Mormon belief could not be further from this. We always expect to be “under” God the Father – as given by the example of our revered elder brother – Jesus Christ. I don’t expect to ever surpass either of them for eternity. Neither does any other Mormon I know.

    So the arrogance claim is uncalled for on these grounds.

  14. Pilgrim
    You said you don’t have enough time to discuss theosis and the LDS version of it but it does indeed have a long and complex heritage. But just as you said, some elements of the passages are better understood within context. I suggest that there is more to the story than you and I preesented here and it does require more in-depth work to arrive at a better understanding. We may never agree on what it all means but suffice it to say the LDS view is not ours alone. We can make our case. I encourage readers to find out themselves if they are interested. All worthwhile endeavors require multiple views to arrive at a conclusion.

  15. One issue that continues to befuddle me is the why Trinitarians continue to hold firm to the three-in-one version of Deity when the evidence so overwhelming to the contrary. Mormons get beaten up a lot for our biblical view of God’s nature and are accused of being polytheists. The average lay person I am sure must think we believe in Ba’al or the pantheon Gods of Greece or something when they hear that. I understand why many in the priest craft would want to use this against the Church to hinder LDS conversions among their flocks but the intellectuals should be a different story – at least if they wish to preserve their integrity and standing amongst legitimate researchers.

  16. Pastoral Behavior – Not Theology

    Moving on a bit, I am legitimately criticized for having a less than respectful opinion of a major part of traditional Christianity’s pastors. I have formed my opinion based on their behavior not their theology. In my mind, I have a picture of a high school graduate who couldn’t get accepted into a real four year college where he would be taught how to think and had to settle on the trade school version called Bible College where he was taught only what to think. My opinion is based on my experience with many such people. I was a case officer in a government agency and interacted professionally with many of these folks. I have to say it was a mixed bag of experiences and some left me with a very distasteful opinion of their abilities.

    These less than well educated leaders in the traditional Christian, (read Evangelical) community are the people who created the bulk of anti-Mormon sentiments extant. It takes only a little effort to find out what Mormons actually believe but yet they continue to regurgitate the old, lame, uninformed pap that was thrown at us by their grandfathers. I have said that if these people are bound and determined to hate us anyway they should at least get our theology and practices right. It’s kind of like the cop who tells the father of the perpetrator he arrested that if he is going to sue make sure he gets the name right.

    Oddly enough, these same denominations are the churches of the slave owners of the Old South, modern segregationists and supporters of the Ku Klux Klan who have such a visceral reaction to Mormons, Jews, Indians, Catholics and others they perceive as undesirables. The Southern Baptists for example, they have a laundry list of Churches that are OK to hate. They actually teach this crap from the pulpit. They have an online book store with 26 pages of hate filled derogatory offerings for sale to their adherents. It Is unsettling to me as an American that so many people look to these people for leadership. You will notice that none of what I said was theological in nature but rather are comments on officially sanctioned behaviors.

  17. Just the same JL, I don’t think there’s much use in Mormons developing a chip on their shoulder and assuming everyone who criticizes them is a scumbag. It may be grounded. But it’s hardly a useful way to approach online debate.

    I’m not being superior or anything. I’ve been slowly developing a more and more combative and cynical online persona myself, and I don’t like it.

  18. Seth
    You are correct. We should be Christ-like in our approach. But we shouldn’t act like sheep in the face of outragous indignities and chronic and deliberate misrepresentations. No one I know in authority said we have to just roll over and take it. We can defend ourselves without being vindictive or mean spirited. I try to do that. But we also are accountable for defending the faith.

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