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Are Latter-day Saints Christians?

What a HOT topic! Several books have been written on it. May I add my opinion in response to those who have asked me that question? More importantly, I'd like to plug a book that answers it far better than I could....and also warn you about one of the books out there on the subject that is less than honest.

The good book on the subject is called, "Is The Mormon My Brother?" by James R. White (he is not LDS). My response is based on this book. The book that misses the mark is called "How Wide the Divide," by Robinson and Blomberg. The reason I do not recommend that book is because the LDS writer in it waffled on what the true teachings of the LDS church are and have been down through time, and the "Christian" in the dialogue format of the book didn't seem to realize he was being deceived by Robinson's very UNofficial statements. If you wish to know more about this, read "Is The Mormon My Brother" as it spells out where the deception is. (Library? or Christian book store)

Now... to the nitty gritty. ARE LDS Christians? I say (and James White says) they are not, because of their stand on the most basic of issues - the doctrine of God.

Picture this: I have an exchange student come stay with me from a village where nothing is known about the Bible. She asks me about my religion. Where would I, a Baptist, start? More importantly, where would any person, protestant or Catholic, begin their response? We would tell her about the GOD of the Bible, and, in order to tell the whole story, would want to include the following:

A. There is one God, who is self-sufficient, ie. not dependent on anyone else for existence. (His name, "I am" in Ex. 3:14, conveys this - study it out!)

B. He is unique; all-powerful, everywhere-present, all-knowing.

C. He created all that exists, including time and matter and all life itself.

D. He reveals Himself to us as 3 persons, all part of the Godhead, and of the same essence, Father, Son, and Holy  Spirit; yet in His uniqueness, the three are ONE GOD.

E. He is eternal -- has always been God....existing before time itself began.

F. In all characteristics, He is and has always been unchanging - those mentioned above, and also his personality characteristics, such as love, grace, justice, holiness, perfection.

G. He is invisible, being Spirit in essence, but His son took on human form to communicate his nature to us (and to save us).

Now -- any LDS person ought to recognize at once that we are not describing the God of Mormonism! The description varies in EVERY POINT! Some LDS may be unaware of the extent of the differences, (because LDS leaders consider some of these areas of disagreement to be the "meat" of their doctrine rather than the milk, and thus do not tell people the whole story up-front!) but the chart below demonstrates and documents the differences.

Now, just one thought: If the "Sam" you talk about in conversation is a 3 foot monkey, and the "Sam" I talk about in conversation is a 6 foot quarterback, then we are NOT TALKING ABOUT THE SAME "SAM". It is just that simple. That is why many Christians charge that the God of Mormonism is not the God of the Bible.

The Biblical God. . . . . . . .

Is the ONLY God

Deut. 6:4-6,

Isa. 43:10-11,

44:6-8, 45:5, 21-22,

II Sam. 7:22,

John 17:3

The Mormon God(s)

Many Gods - Teachings of the Prophet, J.S., I will preach on the plurality of Gods" p 370;

Book of Abraham, chapters 4-5 (Gods created)

King Follett Discourse: "learn how to be Gods yourselves, the same as all Gods have done before you" See D&C 132:37 )

Orson Pratt spoke of millions of Gods, J of D 2:345

...is UNIQUE - no one

like Him - Isa. 45:5-7,

46:9-10, Jer. 10:6-7

Psalm 113:4-6

God had a father, who had a father, and

all progressed to Godhood in the same way.

Pres. J. Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation,

2:47. Also Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 132

...Is all-powerful,

subject to no one

Rev. 19:6, Psalm 50:21

God would logically be subject to the law of eternal progression invented by some other (earlier) God, making that God (& the law) more powerful than He is. Teachings of the Prophet, Joseph Smith, p. 345. Alma 42: 13-25 and Alma 9:19 - if God changed he would cease to be God. (Who would demote him?)

...created all things, visible and invisible, all powers, matter itself, and time's ages. John 1:1-3, Eph. 3:9, II Tim. 1:9, Jer. 10:10-11, Heb. 2:10, Isa. 41:4, Psalm 33:6,9

God reorganized matter, in effect copy-catting the creation of the world He lived in as a human. (Temple drama teaching) Sadly, LDS don't even know the name of that FIRST, most powerful God who created matter.

...is Tri-une (the concept is in Gen. 1:1 & 26, tho the word is not)

Deut. 6:4

God = Elohim, a plural word, yet used usually with verbs denoting the action of ONE being, and used sometimes with pronouns such as "He" and "His".

LORD God is also found throughout the OT, meaning Jehovah Elohim (LDS say Jehovah = Jesus, Elohim = the Father), and the phrase LORD God is also used with singular verbs.

Father, Son & Spirit are far more than one in purpose - they act as one.

Three gods who are one only in purpose.

Teachings (P, JS), pg. 370 - see above

Abraham 4-5 speaks of several Gods.

God is married - Articles of Faith, p. 443, and Teachings of Spencer Kimball, page 25

Study reveals that Joseph Smith first held the orthodox view of the Godhead, and LATER adopted the polytheistic view.. See below for more on this.

...Is eternal (always God) and unchanging

Psalm 41:13, 90:2, Col. 1:17, Eph. 3:9, II Tim. 1:9 (world = aionios, meaning ages or time, or perpetuity),

James 1:17, Mal. 4:6

God progressed from man to God (Teachings, P.J.S., pg. 345) See also D&C 88:22

"As man is, God once was, as God is , man may become" (Lorenzo Snow)

...Is invisible - Spirit...He can assume any form in revealing Himself to us, but in ESSENCE is invisible. John 4:24, Lk. 24:39, I Tim. 6:16, 1:17, Ex. 33:20, John 1:18, Col. 1 :15, I John 4:12,20

Is an exalted, resurrected man (one LDS described him as about 6 feet tall, tho the point is not the height, but the physical form) with flesh and bones, Teachings(PJS), page 345. First vision, D&C 130:22

Now let me add a fly to the ointment. The Book of Mormon & D&C DIFFER from the above in at least two areas. (1)They teach the orthodox, tri-une God in the intro, (testimony of 3 witnesses), and in II Nephi 11:7, 31:21, Alma 11:14 and D&C 20:28.

And (2) the Book of Mormon teaches that God is NOT an exalted, resurrected man in Moroni 8:18 (he is unchangeable from everlasting to everlasting). See also Mormon 9:9-11, Moroni 7:22. D&C 20:12, 17. But if God did not progress to Godhood...there goes the whole "eternal progression" doctrine! Thus the confusion on some points of the Godhood's nature rocks the whole foundation of Mormonism. Was God a man or a God first? It grieves me that the LDS leadership encourages a sort of blind faith, which discourages people from thinking through such things.

Conclusion: It would be illogical for me to say, "I am Mormon, but do not believe in the current prophet, nor the Book of Mormon." It is also illogical for LDS to wish to be called Christians when they deny the first and foremost defining belief of Christians (there is one God), and the other concepts that logically flow from that belief.

But the issue is larger than that. Can one claim that God will receive him or save him if he chooses to deny the very nature and character of God? I wonder. Here are some scriptures that speak to that subject:

John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they may know thee, the only true God, (not someone else by the same name) and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. Have not LDS demonstrated in the above statements that they do not KNOW GOD?  John 8:24 indicates that we must believe Jesus is who He claims to be or we will die in our sins. II Corinthians 11:4 speaks of people believing in "another Jesus".   Hmmm   If the Jesus I believe in created matter and always existed, but the LDS Jesus only helped reorganize it and was not always God... we are talking about two different people named Jesus! 

Heb. 11:5 He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of of them that diligently seek Him. (HIM...not some other God whose name happens to be the same). I think some LDS are seeking Godhood....instead of knowing God.  But God seeks worshippers, not competitors (see D&C 76:95).

Deut. 13:1-5 speaks against those who lead people after false gods. In one way, I think some LDS are "following other gods" and by that I mean the gods they hope to become. Remember, that was Satan's downfall.

While I believe that not all LDS are fully aware of the LDS doctrine of God presented above, and may not fully subscribe to it, there is really no question in my mind on this issue of LDS not being saved, because LDS have not only perverted the doctrine of God, but also the doctrine of salvation (click here for my home page article on this subject).

But there can be exceptions to any rule, so let me add two limitations...any LDS who chooses to believe what the Church proclaims (as listed above in the chart) about God is NOT following or believing in the one and only true God, but some imitation-god. Since faith in the true God is what saves us, such cannot be saved (I speak of Celestial glory as salvation, with the only other option being the lake of fire, just as Rev. 20:15 and 21:24-27 speak of). And further, any LDS believing fully in the LDS Church's plan of salvation is not saved as it is a plan that is under God's curse (as my home page, mentioned above, explains).

In the past I have avoided dealing with the question of whether Mormons are Christians because of the semantics involved in the definition of the word "Christian"... but if "Christians" are anything, they are monotheists. Admittedly the trinity doctrine is difficult to understand. But my concern is more with the suggestion of other gods in addition to the members of the trinity. I have demonstrated briefly, and James White has demonstrated fully in his book, that LDS are not monotheists. Do not be deceived by LDS citing lesser issues (we believe in Jesus the Savior, His name is in our church name, etc.). Check out the foundation, and you will see the quicksand. Our God is a JEALOUS God and WILL NOT share His glory with some pseudo-gods. I pray LDS may come to know the one who is called in Isaiah and Revelation "the first and the last, the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end"...the ONLY God!

I have written an article on a related question -- the question of what God thinks of Mormon teachings...and it is pretty bold, so has not been listed in the general index.  If you are ready for the PLAIN truth...Click Here

 

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