Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Just Who is More "Christian" Mitt or his Detractors?

Could Mitt Romney be more "Christian" than Evangelicals? Protestants and Catholics subscribe to the Nicene creed, which was initiated by the Emperor Constantine in the Fourth Century to rid Scriptures of the Apocrypha, which made reference to the oral traditions of Jewish and early Christian temple worship.

First Century Christian churches, in fact, continued the Jewish temple worship traditions:
1) Baptism of youth (not infants) by immersion by the father of the family
2) Lay clergy
3) Anointing with holy oil after baptism
4) Then clothing in white clothing

Just check with the Israeli Museum to verify. And read Exodus Ch 29 for Aaron and his sons” ordinances. Jewish Temple practices were continued by Christians prior to Constantine”s corruption (see St. Cyril of Jerusalem (315-386) Lecture XXI). Early Christians were persecuted for keeping their practices sacred, and not allowing non-Christians to witness them

A literal reading of the New Testament points to God and Jesus Christ being separate beings, united in purpose. To whom was Jesus praying in Gethsemane, and to whom was he speaking on the Mount of Transfiguration?

The Nicene Creed”s definition of the Trinity was influenced by scribes translating the Greek manuscripts into Latin. The scribes embellished on a passage explaining the Trinity, which is the Catholic and Protestant belief that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The oldest versions of the epistle of 1 John, read: "There are three that bear witness: the Spirit, the water and the blood and these three are one."
Scribes later added "the Father, the Word and the Spirit," and it remained in the epistle when it was translated into English for the King James Version, according to Dr. Bart Ehrman, Chairman of the Religion Department at UNC- Chapel Hill.

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) have concern for their ancestors” spiritual welfare, so they practice proxy baptism. (1 Corinthians 15:29 & Malachi 4:5-6).

Only members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) continue these practices of First Century Christians. But Mormons don”t term Catholics and Protestants “non-Christian”. The dictionary definition of a Christian is “of, pertaining to, believing in, or belonging to a religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ”:. All of the above denominations are followers of Christ, and consider him the Messiah foretold in the Old Testament.

It”s important to understand the difference between Reformation and Restoration when we consider who might be the more authentic Christian. If Mitt Romney is a member of a denomination which embraces early Christian theology, he is likely more “Christian” than his detractors.

* * *
Furthermore, a UCLA study found that observant members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) in their 50s and 60s had one-twentieth the divorce rate, abuse rate, or substance abuse of a demographically similar group in Southern California.
And the National Study of Youth and Religion done by UNC-Chapel Hill in 2005 found that Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) youth (ages 13 to 17) were more likely to exhibit these Christian characteristics than Evangelicals (the next most observant group):
LDS Evangelical
Attend Religious Services weekly 71% 55%
Importance of Religious Faith in shaping daily life –
extremely important 52 28
Believes in life after death 76 62
Believes in psychics or fortune-tellers 0 5
Has taught religious education classes 42 28
Has fasted or denied something as spiritual discipline 68 22
Sabbath Observance 67 40
Shared religious faith with someone not of their faith 72 56
Family talks about God, scriptures, prayer daily 50 19
Supportiveness of church for parent in trying to raise teen
(very supportive) 65 26
Church congregation has done an excellent job in helping
Teens better understand their own sexuality and sexual morality 84 35

6 comments:

Lisa of Longbourn said...

Bot,
Since you posted the same article on my blog, I thought I would offer to transfer my response to your blog here as well.

I assume you are a member of the LDS church. Please do not see my answers as argumentative. I have only a passion for the truth, and will be praying that God saves you in truth as well. For the record, I am a Bible-believing born-again Christian whose creed is the Bible. I know that the only way to heaven and a relationship with Jesus Christ is by recognizing my complete inability to do anything good on my own or to save myself; by seeing that Jesus literally came to earth remaining fully God and becoming fully human to live a perfect life and suffer innocently to pay the price for my wickedness. Then He rose again, and trust in Him ALONE makes me "saved," "born again," an heir of God, "redeemed," part of His Church, spiritually alive, temple of the Holy Spirit...

Galatians emphasizes that works of the flesh are not the means of the Christian life any more than they were the means of salvation. The Law given in the Old Testament taught us our need for a Savior. Once saved by faith in Him, we are to continue walking in faith, not by our efforts to please Him. Christianity is a relationship with God, not a list of rites.

That there is one God and that He is triune in the persons of Father, Son (Jesus), and Holy Spirit is clearly taught in Scripture. Each are referred to as God though there is most definitely only one God. They are eternally loving each other, God existing as a being beyond our understanding, and our earthly relationships being only pictures of who He is. One does not need 1 John's doubted verses to know that the Bible teaches three-in-one as the nature of our God.

Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane and in other places to His Father. John 10 says, "I and My Father are one." The Jews always recognized what Jesus meant when He said these things. He was accused of blasphemy for claiming to be their one and only God. (Philippians says Jesus did not consider it robbery to be equal with God.) However, being the three persons with different roles in Their creation, Jesus as the earthly sacrifice was empowered and led by the Holy Spirit, and looked to His Father for the words to speak to His followers and succor of His mission.

On the definition of biblical Christianity, I later clarified: Christian (protestant, evangelical, Bible-believers) as what I mean by the word. The definition supplied by Bot seems to be the first part of this American Heritage entry: "The religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, sent by God. They believe that Jesus, by dying and rising from the dead, made up for the sin of Adam and thus redeemed the world, allowing all who believe in him to enter heaven. Christians rely on the Bible as the inspired word of God." Dictionaries don't change the truth. They help, but let's be sure you know what I meant.

"Could Mitt Romney be more 'Christian' than Evangelicals?" No. That would be changing the historic understanding of the word. When Joseph Smith started the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, he was leaving a religion with which he was dissatisfied and initiating something new.

"First Century Christian churches, in fact, continued the Jewish temple worship traditions:
1) Baptism of youth (not infants) by immersion by the father of the family
2) Lay clergy
3) Anointing with holy oil after baptism
4) Then clothing in white clothing"
First Century Christian churches practiced a new type of baptism from Judaism, one that was a statement of faith and a symbol of Jesus' sacrifice for them, not of ceremonial cleansing or conversion. They baptized children in the same way as adults, I assume, when the young people professed publicly their faith in Jesus Christ alone as their hope of eternal life.

I am not sure what you mean by lay clergy. In the New Testament I read of qualified Christian older men leading the congregation, teaching, and admonishing them, but Paul also instructs churches to supply the needs of those who minister in the Word.

Where is the biblical basis at all for following baptism with "holy" oil? What is holy oil, and what is the point?

Revelation says the saints will be clothed in white in heaven. I never see that Christians are instructed to wear white.

In all of the above, we seem to have an entirely different perspective. I see the contrasts between biblical Christianity and Mormonism as matters of doctrine, and you see them as matters of ritual. I am not a ritual Christian.

Paul warns in Philippians 3, "Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh." He also makes the point, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power... Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead... Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross... Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind... Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh." in Colossians 2.

I don't see how the instructions to the Levitical Aaronic priesthood are relevant today when we are a kingdom of priests, receiving direct intercession to God through Jesus Christ, our Great High Priest. Certainly Christians are not successors to Aaron or his sons. Nor are we in need of a temple, for ours is now the true Temple, in heaven, along with the heavenly city. (See Hebrews)

In the New Testament we are instructed to let our lights shine before men. Jesus said He did nothing in secret. Paul describes a hypothetical non-believer observing a Christian worship service in 1 Corinthians 14. If the early church was hiding their practices, for whatever feigned reason, they were behaving unbiblically. Christians are to be unashamed of the gospel of Christ, and eager for the world to join them in faith.

"Members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) have concern for their ancestors” spiritual welfare, so they practice proxy baptism. (1 Corinthians 15:29 & Malachi 4:5-6)." Malachi 4:5-6 is not talking about ancestors, but living family members. And as baptism is only a symbol of faith, a public confession of being saved by Jesus' death and resurrection for them, it can have no affect on a deceased person's spiritual standing. It is appointed for men to die once, and after this the judgment. No in between waiting time to see how much generations to come will prove their concern by getting dunked. 1 Corinthians, being written at the beginning of the Church, especially in Corinth, probably describes a practice of making the faith of recently deceased Christians public who had not known the doctrine of baptism or had not been available to proclaim their redemption before their deaths.

"But Mormons don't term Catholics and Protestants 'non-Christian'." Many religions take a tolerant view of salvation, teaching there are many ways to eternal life. Jesus Himself said He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Him. Acts 4:12 says there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved. Paul warned the Galatians: "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." What other religions teach about my religion is their business, I guess. But I refuse to let people be deceived into thinking it's all the same thing.

Mormonism teaches that we can add something to Christ's work on the cross. The Bible teaches the opposite. Mormonism teaches the same lie that the serpent gave Eve in Genesis: you can be like God. But you can't. You can accept His grace or remain His enemy. It can be eternal life on His merits or the just reward (death forever) for your work on your own merits. I will not let anyone reading this die without hearing at least this once the truth of how to be reconciled to God and inherit eternal life.

The origins of Mormonism concern me. A disenchanted young man has visions of an angel giving him a different gospel than that which he had been taught. Satan and his demons appear as angels of light, ever great deceivers. Job vividly reports their use of dreams and visions to promote their lies. As Joseph Smith was not walking with God or following the already revealed written Scripture when these visions came, aside from the theology of not adding to the completed revelation of the Bible, I doubt his discernment as credible reason for adding a whole new book to the "Christian" faith.

The LDS Church has changed their official doctrines over the years, making revisions to their books and practices without justification (such would be the once in history New Covenant established by Jesus' sacrifice for sins once for all). I'm a consistency person. If something is true, it is always true. If the "god" was not able to get the revelation right the first time, I do not want to worship that god or follow the temporary instructions. Again, I direct you to Josh McDowell and Don Stewart's excellent documentation of these inconsistencies.

Finally, the fact that youth in the LDS church are reportedly more moral and religiously active has nothing to do with what faith is true. Christian churches are full of people and kids who have grown up in the church but never personally accepted Jesus as their Savior, entrusting Him with their future and eternity. If they are not showing fruit, they are not truly born again. (The converse is not always true.) Thus it is no surprise that "evangelicals" do not measure up to the more legalistic students in the Mormon religion. I believe Muslim children are very observant of their religion as well. That will not get them to heaven, or gain them God's favor.

I am so grateful that God has demonstrated His love to me while I was a sinner without strength, that He offered His grace to me to adopt me as His own and take my place on the cross so that I don't have to spend eternity in hell separated from my Creator. Because of Jesus, because when I was six years old, I trusted Him to forgive my sins and be my Savior, I have purpose, hope, a constant friend, peace, assurance of life with Him after death, love for the truth. I only write, and serve Him, because He gives good gifts. I testify of His love and justice to give Him glory.

My desire would be to have a man leading this country who can honestly say the same, who will depend on God's wisdom and absolute truths to make decisions.

To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

Political Realm said...

You left a comment on my blog, so here's a response.

Two points:

1. I don't think a good way to reconcile differences between LDS/Mormon beliefs and other Christian beliefs is to claim that one group acts or follows beliefs that are "more Christian" than the other.

2. Differences regarding the Trinity are significant to many who distrust Mormonism, there are several others you don't touch on.
The controversial life of Joseph Smith, the relationship between Mormonism and polygamy, and the Book of Mormon as a canonical text are all just as significant as issues of division between LDS/Mormonism and the rest of Christianity.

D said...

I'm not a Mormon, but I'm quite amused by the ridiculous and petty arguments that evangelicals and others come up against Mormons.

They mention Polygamy (actually polygyny), but fail to notice that it was common in biblical days. They believe in the literal translation of the bible, however it has been translated some many times, its difficult to assume that there has been no changes in the content and intent of the original authors.

They fail to notice that the word Bible could be substituted for Library as each book was authored by different people and the books inclusion was decided by a bunch of men hundreds of years after the fact.

I find it refreshing to see comments by people putting the shoe on the other foot. May be Christians should look to their common ground instead of the petty arguments about man-made DOGMA.

Read the Bible to extract the intent, understand that there will be some passages that contradict others. Study the history of Christianity and know that it has been muddled by man more often than not. Use the brain that God gave you for a reason and come up with your own conclusions.

Bot said...

• The Need for a Restoration of the Christian Church:

The founder of the Baptist Church in America, Roger Williams, just prior to leaving the church he established, said this:

"There is no regularly constituted church of Christ on earth, nor any person qualified to administer any church ordinances; nor can there be until new apostles are sent by the Great Head of the Church for whose coming I am seeking.” (Picturesque America, p. 502.)

Martin Luther had similar thoughts: "Nor can a Christian believer be forced beyond sacred Scriptures,...unless some new and proved revelation should be added; for we are forbidden by divine law to believe except what is proved either through the divine Scriptures or through Manifest revelation."

He also wrote: "I have sought nothing beyond reforming the Church in conformity with the Holy Scriptures. The spiritual powers have been not only corrupted by sin, but absolutely destroyed; so that there is now nothing in them but a depraved reason and a will that is the enemy and opponent of God. I simply say that Christianity has ceased to exist among
those who should have preserved it."

The Lutheran, Baptist and Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) churches recognize an apostasy from early Christianity. The Lutheran and Baptist churches have attempted reform, but Mormonism (and Roger Williams, and perhaps Martin Luther) require inspired restoration, so as to re-establish an unbroken line of authority and apostolic succession.

Last Man Thinking said...

The comment by "bot" is filled with the same misinformation and disinformation that characterizes all Mormon writings. The statement on Baptism is patently false. There is every reason to believe that the Christian Church of the First Century and throughout its early history practiced infant baptism. Jesus said, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." (Matthew 28:19) All nations certainly includes people of all ages. This is but one of many Scriptural sources that support infant baptism. Additionally, the Patristic Writings (writings of the early church fathers) likewise support infant baptism - not as some secret ritual hidden from public view, as a sacrament available to all. It isn't we who create faith within ourselves, but the Holy Spirit, working in us, who creates faith. A youth or an adult can no more come to belief in Christ than can an infant.

Likewise, the assertion that a literal reading of the New Testament points to God and Jesus Christ being separate divine beings is also simply false. Jesus said, "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?" (John 14:9) Again, this is but one of many texts in the Bible that plainly state that God is Triune - one God who comes to us in three persons. The mystery of the Trinity remains: where Scripture is silent, we cannot go beyond it by making up myths or inventing new "scriptures" (which are really no scriptures at all) to explain the deeper things of God that He has chosen in His wisdom to keep hidden from us in this lifetime.

The Mormon assertion that the Nicene Creed, as well as the other historic Creeds (Apostles and Athanasian) were corrupted is again simply false. The creeds agree perfectly with the Holy Bible, and the earliest understanding of the faith that Jesus taught.

In discussing the Deity of Jesus Christ, "bot" reveals a crucial error in Mormonism, which separates it forever from true Christianity - True Christians believe in one God. Mormons believe in a multitude of gods. The Jesus Christ that Mormons speak of is not the Jesus Christ of the Holy Bible. He is a fabrication of Joseph Smith Junior and his co-conspirators. "bot" describes Jesus as a separate divine being. Christians believe that there is only one Divine Being, and that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit exist as one being of the same essence - co-equal in eternality, in majesty, in power, and in glory. Jesus exists as one person of the Holy Trinity with two natures - a divine nature and a human nature. Touching His human nature, Jesus could say that the Father was greater than He. Touching His divine nature, Jesus and the Father are One Being, along with the Holy Spirit. The LDS doctrinal statements are in no way in accord with the Holy Bible, nor with the understanding of the orthodox early church fathers. There have always been heretics, who twisted the Word of God to suit their human purposes. The Mormon writings are just one more example of such heresies.

Orthodox Christian scholars have never agreed that God was once a man with a body, as is taught by the Mormon church. To assert such in his comment is just one more example of "bot's" duplicity. This is a twist on the Gnostic Heresy, which arose early in the history of the church, and was denounced by every orthodox Christian, beginning with Peter, Paul, and John.

"bot's" assertion that the cross is an inappropriate symbol of the Christian Church is also simply wrong. The Cross is at the center fo the Christian faith. Here again, "bot" reveals that Mormons are not Christians, as they find the cross offensive. As St. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 2:2, "For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified." This is the central truth of Christianity: Jesus suffered and died on the cross, paying the price for all of the sins of all humankind for all time. Those who believe this, will be saved. Mormons deny the sufficiency of Christ's atonement by adding a list of rules and requirements to secure salvation. The folly of doing so is that, if we must rely on ourselves to be saved, we can never be certain of salvation. For who can ever do enough good to atone for all of the wrong that we do? We are saved by God's grace alone, through faith in Christ alone - and that faith is not of ourselves, but is a gift given to us by God. As St. Paul wrote in his letter to the Galatians, "I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing." (Galatians 2:21)

St. Paul, in Galatians 1:8, anticipated heretics such as Joseph Smith Junior, and condemned such heresies in the strongest terms: "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so I now say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! (Galatians 1:8-9)

Let me conclude by simply stating that "bot's" attempt to portray Mormonism as a Christian religion is shot through with lies and deceptions.

August 21, 2007 11:07 PM
Last Man Thinking said...
Rather than rely on these comments to find the truth, I urge you to obtain a modern translation of the Holy Bible, and read it for yourself. Start with the New Testament, but don't stop there, study the Old Testament, as well. Do not rely on the Mormon version of the Bible, which is really no Bible at all, having been corrupted by the human, uninspired writings of various Mormon leaders. There are many excellent modern translations available. Obtain one, such as the New International Version, and read it for yourself. As you do, pray that God would open your heart to faith in Jesus Christ. If you are now caught up in the lies and deceptions of the Mormon cult, I pray that God would open your heart and mind so that you can free yourself from the evil clutches of those who now deceive and oppress you. No temple ordinances, no obedience to LDS authorities, no secret rituals or garments can give you peace in this world, or eterenal life in the world to come. Only faith in Jesus Christ, our crucified and risen Savior, can accomplish these things.

Last Man Thinking said...

Christianity vs. Mormonism – Part 3 – The Doctrine of Justification

“Justification” refers to how sinful humans can be reconciled to God, who is altogether Holy and Just, and who cannot tolerate sin.
Links to Part 1 and Part 2 are provided below:
http://whatmatters2us.blogspot.com/2007/06/christianity-vs-mormonism-doctrinal.html
http://whatmatters2us.blogspot.com/2007/06/christianity-vs-mormonism-doctrinal_28.html


What Christians Believe

Christians believe that the Holy Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, is the inspired, inerrant divine word of God. This truth is taught throughout the Bible. Just one example is provided here to illustrate this essential truth:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. – 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

The Holy Bible also teaches that God will punish sin. Beginning with the first book of the Bible, and continuing throughout, God tells us repeatedly that sin will be punished:

And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, or when you eat of it you will surely die.” – Genesis 2:16-17. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:23.

The Holy Bible also teaches that all humans are sinners, and therefore subject to God’s punishment – eternal death and damnation:

As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” – Romans 3:10-12.

So how can sinful humans be reconciled to God? The Apostle Paul, writing as he was moved by the Holy Spirit, explained God’s plan for salvation – the manner in which we are justified, or reconciled, to Him – in this same Letter to the Romans:

But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished – he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law. – Romans 3:21-28

Paul continues teaching this important doctrine by referring back to the Patriarch, Abraham, in the next chapter of Romans:

What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about – but not before God. What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. – Romans 4:1-5

In his Letter to the Ephesians, Paul makes it clear that not even faith is something that we contribute to our justification:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9.

So here is the essential truth of the Christian faith: we believe that we are saved by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, by Christ alone. We contribute nothing to our salvation. Rather, as we hear God’s Word, and receive the sacraments that he has prepared for us (Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, also called Holy Communion), he changes our hearts and creates faith in us to believe that through Jesus Christ’s innocent suffering and death on the cross, all of our sins have been atoned for. That is, the wages of our sin (death) have been paid by Christ on the cross. This is the freedom of the Gospel, and nothing can take it away from those whom God has called to believe.

Having been set free from God’s wrath by Jesus Christ, we are now also free to love him and to take delight in obeying him and serving him. We are free to share this Good News (Gospel) with all nations (every man, woman, infant, and child on Earth.) Not only are we free to do so, but in fact Christ commands us to do so, and in joyful thanksgiving for the love that he has shown us, we desire to obey. However, while we live in this world, our old sinful nature continues to cling to us, and we will often fail to do what we want to do, or will do what we do not want to do – that is, continue to sin. However, God’s grace is sufficient to forgive all of those sins, as well, as we continue to repent (be sorry for our sins), and call on God in prayer to forgive us and strengthen us in our faith. We have God’s assurance of our salvation, even though we experience trials and temptations in this present life:

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weaknesses. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. – Romans 8:26-27.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height no depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39.

This, then, is what the Holy Bible teaches, and what Christians believe. God saves us – we do not in any way save ourselves.


What Mormons Believe

Mormons believe in what they refer to as the Plan of Salvation, which include the entire complex of rules and regulations established by the Mormon leaders over the past 160 years. I will cover the Mormon Plan of Salvation in more detail later, but there is a simple key to seeing through the false teachings of the founder of the Mormon religion, Joseph Smith Junior, and all of his successors. This key can be found in the Book of Mormon:

For we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do… - 2 Nephi 25:23 (emphasis added)

Here then is the crux of the matter…the great sin advocated by Joseph Smith Junior is the same sin that caused Adam’s fall. It is the sin that is at the root of all of humanity’s rebellion against God. We are not content to let God be God. We want to take his place. Just as Adam and Eve in the garden listened to Satan’s lies and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, trying to become like God, so we, too, continually rebel against God and seek to make our own rules. We find it so very hard to submit to the perfect will of God, even though deep down inside we know that God always knows what is best for us. In this phrase from the mouth of Joseph Smith Junior, we see a sinful man who could not accept that God had already accomplished all that was necessary for his salvation. Instead, Smith wanted to add something more to what God had done, hence he added the words, “after all we can do”, to other words that paraphrased New Testament Scripture. All of the rest of the Mormon Plan of Salvation flows from this false doctrine. Built on this foundation of sin, the Mormon Plan of Salvation leads not to heaven, but to eternal damnation.

“after all we can do” destroys the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is what God was warning us against in the New Testament passages quoted in the first section of this doctrinal comparison. It allows for sinful humans to boast that they are doing something that adds to the already finished work of Christ on the cross. What a horrible insult to our Risen Lord and Savior – it says that the innocent suffering and death of the God-Man, Jesus Christ, was not sufficient to save us. It says that God’s grace is not sufficient – that the Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent Sovereign Ruler of the Universe needs the help of puny sinful humans to work out our salvation. Thinking such as this is what separates the Mormon cult from orthodox Christianity. Anyone can call themselves anything they wish – but that doesn’t make them what they claim to be. Mormons can claim they are Christians from now till Christ returns on Judgment Day, but that will not help them one bit at that fateful hour. For by rejecting the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they place themselves outside of God’s grace.

So, what is the Mormon Plan of Salvation? Mormon Elder Bruce R. McConkie, in his 1966 second edition of “Mormon Doctrine,” has this to say regarding the Plan of Salvation:

“God himself,” the Prophet (i.e., Joseph Smith Junior) says, “finding he was in the midst of spirits and glory, saw proper to institute laws whereby the rest could have a privilege to advance like himself. The relationship we have with God places us in a situation to advance in knowledge. He has power to institute laws to instruct the weaker intelligences, that they may be exalted with himself, so that they might have one glory upon another, and all that knowledge, power, glory, and intelligence, which is requisite in order to save them in the world of spirits.” (Teachings, p. 354) Thus the plan of salvation (of redemption, and of exaltation) comprises all of the laws, ordinances, principles, and doctrines of conformity to which the spirit offspring of God have power to progress to the high state of exaltation enjoyed by the Father.

It is clear from this alone that Mormon’s reject the Christian doctrine of salvation by grace alone through faith alone. Instead, they want to rely on their own efforts to save themselves. But there is more, also from “Mormon Doctrine”:

Training for eventual salvation began for each person at the time of his spirit birth. Following a long period of pre-existent, probationary schooling, this earth was created to be a place where the hosts of spirits who kept their first estate might come, receive mortal bodies, and undergo further testing and trials.

At death the eternal spirits go to a spirit sphere to gain further experience and then finally they come up in the resurrection, stand before the judgment bar, and are awarded their places in the kingdoms of glory which are prepared. Christ is the Redeemer as a result of whose atoning sacrifice the terms and conditions of this great plan of redemption become operative for the remainder of mankind, many of whom also play lesser parts in the great scheme and plan of the Father.

The plan of salvation, for men in this life, is the gospel of Jesus Christ. It comprises all of the laws, ordinances, and the performances by conformity to which mortal man is empowered to gain eternal life in the kingdom of God. Since the fall of Adam, man has been carnal, sensual, devilish by nature. By conforming to the plan of salvation, man has the power to put off the natural man, to be born again as a new creature of the Holy Ghost, and to become “a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord.”

The steps in this plan are: 1. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; 2. Repentance; 3. Baptism by immersion under the hands of a legal administrator; 4. The laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, also under the hands of a legal administrator; and 5. Enduring in righteousness to the end of the mortal probation.

All of the above contradicts the Holy Bible. Mormons are not satisfied with the words of Jesus in the Holy Bible, but insist on adding all manner of myths and legends, rules and regulations, and man-made rituals and ceremonies to the gospel, making it no gospel at all, but a book of laws and false histories written by sinful men. The Mormon Plan of Salvation is an attempt by sinful man to storm heaven and take the place of God, blindly believing that he can accomplish for himself what only God can do. This is the oldest sin of all, wrapped up in new paper in the pages of The Book of Mormon, The Pearl of Great Price, and The Doctrine and Covenants – all designed to deceive and destroy humanity.

In the Bible, God has provided us with all of the knowledge necessary for our salvation. But, wanting to become gods themselves, Mormon founders and leaders have not been content with the Word of God contained in the Holy Bible. Woe to those who have placed heavy burdens of laws and regulations on people hungry for good news, by distorting the Gospel. They would do well to reflect on the words that Jesus said:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. – Matthew 11:28-30.

Joseph Smith Junior and his successors have weighted down millions of people with burdens drawn from their own wicked imaginations. We pray that all Mormons will hear the true Gospel, reject the false religion that they are now following, and turn to a saving faith in the historic Jesus of the Holy Bible, the one true Christ and the only way to salvation for all humankind.