Skip to content

If Mormons Are Christians, Then Am I A Mormon?

October 2, 2008

I just updated my bio page to add a little more info about my personal beliefs. I thought I’d post them here as well and ask you to evaluate these questions as you review my beliefs. Do these coincide with Mormon beliefs? Since Mormons claim they are Christians, then am I a Mormon?

I am a follower of Jesus Christ, my Lord and my God (John 20:28), who is the Son of the Most High, One and Only, true God (Isa. 43:10, 44:6-8), who was in the beginning with God (John 1:1), and through whom all things were created, including Satan and the angels (Col. 1:16-19). He is my personal Savior, my righteousness and justification, my only hope, the One I worship and adore, and my very best friend. I hold to a firm belief in Jesus Christ and His promises in the Bible. I trust His promise that He will preserve His words (Luke 21:33) and so I read His words daily and seek to obey everything He has commanded, including His command to not believe the words of false prophets (Matt. 24:11, 23-26).

He said we can know false prophets by their fruits (Matt. 7:15-20), so after I examined the life, teachings, and fruits of the man Joseph Smith, I discerned that he was a false prophet and I do not embrace his heretical teachings regarding God being an exalted man, Jesus Christ being the spirit brother of Lucifer, humans possessing intelligence that is coequal with God’s, etc.

I believe I am a being created by God (Col 1:16), I am a sinner (Romans 3:10-12) without hope of salvation apart from the atonement of Jesus Christ which was accomplished on the cross of Calvary (I Peter 2:24). I obey Jesus Christ, not out of fear of not making it into His presence, but because I know I am saved and will spend eternity with Him (I John 5:13, II Cor. 5:8). I am trusting in Jesus Christ alone, apart from works, for my salvation (Romans 4:4-5) and resting on His promise to save me (John 3:16).

I believe that all our fleshly efforts to make ourselves worthy are as “filthy rags” in God’s sight (Isaiah 64:6, Gal. 2:21) and our only hope for salvation is by submitting ourselves to the righteousness of God (Romans 10:3) which is by faith in Jesus Christ (Gal. 2:16).

Because I truly believe His promises are true, I believe He will return again (looks to be very soon if you study end-times prophecy!) and I believe He will reward us according to what we have done by faith and in the power of His Spirit and not in our flesh (Hebrews 11:6, I Cor. 3:10-15). I desire to please Him and obey Him because I love Him and am eternally grateful for what He has done to save a wretched sinner like me.

So, am I a Mormon?

Advertisements
17 Comments leave one →
  1. Spencer Adams permalink
    October 2, 2008 2:13 am

    If you don’t embrace the teachings of Joseph Smith, or the Book of Mormon, I believe you are not a Mormon.

  2. October 2, 2008 2:29 am

    Hi Spencer,

    Thank you for your comment. So, according to your view, if one does not embrace the teachings of the prophet Joseph Smith they are not a Mormon.

    So, is the reverse also true – if one does not embrace the teachings of Jesus Christ, are they non-Christian?

    For example, if a person does not embrace Jesus’ teaching that there is only one God, are they a true Christian?

    What if they don’t believe Jesus’ promise that He will preserve His Word, but they give their allegiance to another book that claims to be His Word, but contains many contradictions with His Word and presents a false Christ. Are they a true Christian?

    What if they embrace one of the false prophets that Jesus warned about and revere him as much (or more) than Jesus and what if they accept his definition of Christ, which is not the same as the one given by Christ Himself, are they a Christian?

    What if they preach “another gospel” warned about in the Bible – a gospel based on works instead of grace through faith, are they a true Christian?

  3. October 2, 2008 12:41 pm

    Mormons embrace the teachings of Jesus Christ.

    Mormons believe the one God verses of the Bible describe a perfect external unity, not an internal unity of some substance. This is a rational reading of scripture and simply rejects the Nicene (man made) creed. That God the Father and Jesus Christ are separate individuals is a reasonable reading of the Bible.

    Accepting the Book of Mormon is not equivalent to rejecting the Bible in any way. There are those who will point to many contradictions in the Bible – a simple google search will reveal long lists of Bible contradiction. I think these contradictions are explainable, and are similar to claims of Book of Mormon contradictions. The Book of Mormon does not present a false Christ.

    To say that Mormons revere any prophet more than Jesus is deceptive and ridiculous. To pass this along damages your credibility.

    You also seem to be deliberately misunderstanding what Mormonism teaches about the plan of salvation.

  4. October 2, 2008 5:52 pm

    Eric,

    Please do share what you believe I am “deliberately misunderstanding” about what Mormonism teaches about the plan of salvation. What I have learned about the Mormon plan of salvation comes from LDS sources.

    Moroni 10:32:

    “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and IF ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, THEN is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.”

    According to this verse, when is Christ’s grace sufficient? After you have denied yourself of all ungodliness, and after you love God with all our might and mind and strength. So, if you are not denying yourself of ALL ungodliness, is His grace sufficient for you?

    What about Alma 11:37?

    “And I say unto you again that he cannot save them in their sins; for I cannot deny his word, and he hath said that no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore, how can ye be saved, except ye inherit the kingdom of heaven? Therefore, ye cannot be saved in your sins.”

    According to this verse we cannot be saved in our sins. What is the Mormon remedy for sin? “Say nothing but repentance unto this generation” (D & C 11:9).

    What is the definition of repentance in Mormonism? – total abandonment of sin (D & C 58:42-43). This is one of the LDS scripture mastery verses:

    “Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more. By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins — behold, he will confess them and forsake them.”

    So, according to this passage, a person has truly repented only when they have completely forsaken their sin. If they have not forsaken their sin, they have not truly repented and they cannot be saved in their sins (Alma 11:37) and Christ’s grace is not sufficient for them (Moroni 10:32).

    But, here is the good news according to the Mormon gospel:

    I Nephi 3:7 promises that

    “the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”

    So, according to this verse, it is entirely possible for a person to completely abandon their sin so that Christ’s grace can be applied to their account.

    Whew –

    That’s a relief.

    So, since you are a Mormon, are you perfect? Have you completely abandoned your sin? If you haven’t, the Book of Mormon says you cannot be saved in your sins and Christ’s grace is only sufficient for you after you have completely abandoned your sin.

    You said that I am mis-understanding what Mormonism teaches about the plan of salvation.

    Then why are born-again, ex-mormons citing the church for teaching a false gospel and stating this as one of their main reasons for leaving the LDS church?

    There are over 150 verses in the NT that teach justification by faith alone. Here’s a website that lists them:
    http://www.how2becomeachristian.info/justificationbyfaith.htm

    LDS apostle Spencer Kimball said “One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved alone by the grace of God; that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation.” (The Miracle of Forgiveness, pages 206-207)

    Please explain what I am mis-understanding about the Mormon gospel.

  5. October 2, 2008 6:36 pm

    As anyone who knows anything about the Mormon plan of salvation knows, salvation is by degrees.

    Through the atonement of Christ, everyone will be save from death and Hell (what Mormons would call outer darkenss). Because of this atonement everyone will be resurrected, and everyone except a small amount of people (known as sons of perdition) will be saved from hell. In this sense Mormonism teaches one of the most generous doctrines regarding salvation that there is. Mormons are borderline universalists when it comes to basic salvation.

    Mormonism also teaches that salvation is by degrees. Paul refers to this as a crown of righteousness after having fought the good fight. He also aludes to degrees of salvation.

    So Mormonism teaches basic salvation as a free gift of grace through Christ to everone. And that salvation is by degree, which is merit based. Keeping this in mind is vital when considering these things.

    There are all kinds of verses that talk of being judged by our works. And that faith without them is dead.

    If salvation is based on grace alone, which I assume you claim to believe, then one can only hope to win the random salvation lottery.

    Good luck.

  6. October 2, 2008 8:32 pm

    Christian is a general term which includes many followers of Christ such as Catholics, Baptists, Lutherans, Methodists, Episcopalians, Presbyterian and yes Mormons. So simply saying you are Christian doesn’t mean you are Mormon just as it doesn’t mean you are Catholic.

    I discerned that he was a false prophet and I do not embrace his heretical teachings regarding God being an exalted man, Jesus Christ being the spirit brother of Lucifer, humans possessing intelligence that is coequal with God’s, etc.

    These are not required beliefs in Mormonism so you could still be Mormon and be free to reject the teaching over 150 years ago that God was once a man. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard Mormons teach that they possess intelligence coequal with God’s. That’s new to me and I’ve been a member for 30+ years. When it comes down to it members of the LDS Church are not required to believe everything that was ever said by every prophet or leader. Some of our leaders said things that simply were not true. When I find those things out I reject them. However, they also taught many good thing and I accept those.

  7. October 2, 2008 11:45 pm

    Eric,

    I was seeking to point out that Mormonism teaches a false gospel – one that is based on works instead of grace – and I feel that you have validated my points. Universalism is another false doctrine. The Scriptures teach that those who do not believe in Jesus Christ for their salvation will be sent to outer darkness (Matt. 8:10-12, II Thess. 1:8-12) which is why we are commanded to preach the gospel to every creature.

    The Bible warns that if anyone comes preaching “another gospel” other than “the grace of Christ” we are to reject their teachings (Galatians 1:6-9).

    You said “If salvation is based on grace alone, which I assume you claim to believe, then one can only hope to win the random salvation lottery.”

    The Scriptures clearly teach salvation is by grace through faith

    “For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory, but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Romans 4:2-5).

    “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1)

    “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law, for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified” (Galatians 2:16).

    “For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

    The New Testament, read without pre-conceived biases, refutes the Mormon doctrine of salvation. Christians are commanded to preach the gospel and to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3). That’s what I am seeking to do on this blog.

    Grace and peace,

    Jessica

  8. October 2, 2008 11:52 pm

    Jay,

    Joseph Smith’s teaching regarding humans having coequal intelligence with God can be found in the King Follet Discourse along with many other heretical, anti-Biblical teachings and arrogant statements. Here’s a link to the entire discourse if you would like to review it:

    http://www.mormonchallenge.com/ref_follet.htm

    By the way, I did not state that Mormons believe this. I was using this as one example of why I believe Joseph Smith was a false prophet. His teachings were false and heretical, he had a very low view of God, a high view of himself, and he mis-understood Scripture. I think this is clearly evident from this discourse. The followers of Christ that God has greatly used for the past 2000 years of church history have been strong in the Scriptures, filled with humility, and pointed people to Christ, not themselves.

    You state that you more or less pick and choose what you accept from Mormon prophets and leaders. What is your standard for determining what is of God and what isn’t? If Joseph Smith taught false doctrines that you do not embrace, how do you know that the doctrines you do embrace are not false? Or, in other words, if Joseph Smith was deceived about the nature of God and humans having coequal intelligence with God, how do you know he was not deceived about other teachings?

  9. October 3, 2008 12:52 pm

    I was trying to point out that you teach a false gospel, and are deliberately deceptive in some of the things you say about Mormonism.

    To state that what we do does not matter at all to God is false and not Biblical. The New Testament (and Old Testament), read without pre-conceived biases, refutes your doctrine of salvation. A few examples:

    Eccl 12

    Matt 16

    and

    James 2

    Thats all I have time for, but I suspect you know there are many other verses that I could point to. We are not supposed to be just hearers of the word, but doers of it. One needs to believe and follow the whole Bible.

  10. October 3, 2008 3:59 pm

    Eric,

    I do not disagree that true faith should be evidenced in good works. That’s the whole point of James 2 and other passages such as you mentioned. If someone claims to have faith and does not manifest good works I question whether their faith is real. Our “good works” done in the power of the Holy Spirit can justify us before men (in other words, they can judge from our lives that we truly believe).

    However, our faith is what justifies us before God. Our righteous acts (if done apart from His indwelling Spirit) are as “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6).

    The problem I have with the LDS gospel is that people are not shown that they are a sinner by nature and need to be born again as Jesus taught (John 3).

    In the “Preach My Gospel” manual for LDS missionaries, I see that the missionaries are instructed to have people read the Book of Mormon and pray whether it is true. Then they are taught that they sin and need to start doing good works and observing commandments and try to stop sinning and rely on a feeling they get when they read the Book of Mormon according to the spiritual rules that Joseph Smith, the sorcerer, assigned to that book (i.e. if you pray with a sincere heart, with real intent, asking if the book is true you will get a feeling).

    “Preach My Gospel” does not preach the true gospel and people are directed toward the teachings of a false prophet as a substitute for the real gospel of Jesus Christ. How can unconverted people pray and expect God to answer their prayers to give them discernment about whether or not the book is true? This is very deceptive and false teaching. Isaiah 59:2 says our sins separate us from God so that when we pray to Him, He cannot hear us. That’s why Jesus said we must be born again (John 3).

    Born again Christians who read the Book of Mormon discern that it is not from God and is “another gospel” and must be rejected. Historical/archaeological evidence has not shown it to be anything more than a fable and Christians are told to reject fables (I Timothy 1:3-4, II Timothy 4:4, Titus 1:9-14)

    That’s all I have time for as well and I’ll be gone for a couple days but hope we can continue the discussion when I get back.

  11. October 3, 2008 6:37 pm

    It is incredible that you can say that the LDS gospel do not teach that all have sinned. Either you do not know Mormonism at all or you are being deliberately deceptive. I am just trying to figure out which.

    And throwing around terms like sorcerer contradict claims that you love Mormons, or that you are even capable of respectful discource.

    If you want to have respectful discource with Mormons you are going to need to stick to the facts, be objective, and stop throughing around terms like this. Your extreem mischaracterizations are a real turnoff.

    There are plenty of differences between Mormonism and traditional Christianity. You have no need to distort things.

  12. October 5, 2008 2:47 am

    Eric,

    I can assure you that I am being completely sincere and am not at all trying to mis-characterize Mormonism. The conclusions I have drawn regarding Joseph Smith and Mormonism are the result of my personal research using LDS and non-LDS sources.

    During my research I have learned that LDS members and investigators are not given the full information on Joseph Smith, but they are only taught the positive aspects of his life. Finding out about the real Joseph Smith of history is one of the reasons that so many people leave the LDS church according to the research of LDS member John Dehlin (http://mormonstories.org/?p=390).

    The occult activities of Joseph Smith and his family are well-documented in history books and are no longer denied by the LDS church as they once were. According to one Mormon historian, Klaus J. Hansen, for nearly a century and a half the LDS church “heartedly denied that there are any links between magic and their religion, insisting that whatever artifacts Smith may have employed in the translation of the Book of Mormon, he had done so ‘by the gift and power of God’ (his own words), and that charges of other magical and occult practices were slanderous. For Mormon apologists there was a clear inference that any link between Mormonism and magic would seriously undermine the truth claims of their religion. As historians over the past two generations amassed growing evidence of a link between Mormonism and magic, apologists, to some extent, were able to reassure the faithful because much of this literature was regarded as hostile: the exploitation of anti-Mormon sources by authors unfriendly to the church. In recent years, however, the rise of the “New Mormon History” has made this position increasingly untenable as scholars professing to be believing Mormons or regarded as friendly to the church have also explored the relationship between Mormonism and magic, aided and abetted by a rising scholarly interest in magic and religion in the Western world in general and in American history in particular—to the increasing discomfort of apologists and church leaders.”

    http://www.signaturebooks.com/reviews/magic.htm

    I cited some of the historical documentation of Joseph Smith’s occult activities in my post “Magic and The Book of Mormon” which you can find on this blog under the category “Book of Mormon.”

    I believe that the LDS church is the one being deceptive with its members and investigators and that is why I am seeking to expose the truths about Mormonism because I love Mormons. I love them enough to tell them the truth.

    I completely agree with you that there are huge differences between Mormonism and Biblical Christianity. The best way I have found to discuss these differences with Mormons is to stick to the issues and avoid personal attacks. If you feel I am mis-understanding something, please feel free to provide your evidence refuting the issue I have set forth here.

    I will try to refrain from using the term “sorcerer” when discussing Joseph Smith since that seemed to particularly turn you off and I do not want to alienate you from this conversation. I used that term with a Mormon on another blog and he did not state that it was offsenive at all and he judged me as being very sincere. I’m not sure how much you have engaged in discussions with evangelical Christians who have actually researched Mormonism. I am not going to mince words – I will state what I believe is true. You are welcome to do the same, but unless you have actual evidence of my motives please refrain from personal attacks.

  13. October 5, 2008 10:02 pm

    Forgot to comment on the other issue you brought up: “It is incredible that you can say that the LDS gospel do not teach that all have sinned.”

    I was referring to the LDS teaching that people do not have a sin nature. Rather, they were spirit beings in a pre-existence and chose to obey God so the fact that they are here on this earth means they have already made the right choice to follow God and they are already His children.

    This is in direct contrast with what Scripture teaches. The Bible never says that people lived in a pre-existence, we are dead in our trespasses and sins with no hope of redemption apart from faith in Jesus Christ who can give us new life in the Spirit when we are born again by putting our faith in Him as our righteousness. It is only after we are born again that we become God’s children by the spiritual rebirth. Prior to this, we are children of the devil (please see my post “Are We All Heavenly Father’s Children?”).

  14. October 5, 2008 11:34 pm

    Eric, I am not sure what else you could characterize what Smith was doing. Sorcery seems to fit. He was talking to spirit beings. He was looking at magic rocks in a hat and seeing words appear. He was known to be seeking treasure by using sorcerous means. The fact that he was not a very good sorceror doesn’t mean that he was not trying or influenced by it. You ought to look at the history of mormonism with an objective view, you might be shocked by what you see.

    You are correct though that the real differences between Christianity and mormonism go much further than minor issues. The divide is fundamental in the nature of God, in the state of man and how sinners are reconcilled with God.

  15. October 7, 2008 1:13 pm

    Jessica,
    I have read the King Follet discourse. Thank you for the link though.

    My standard is the Bible and my own good judgment.

  16. October 23, 2008 6:36 pm

    the quick answer is this:
    An apple is a fruit, but not all fruits are apples. You can be whatever Fruit that best suits you, and what ever kind of Christian that you want.

    -D

Trackbacks

  1. May I recommend this site… (Investigating Mormonism) « The Church of Jesus Christ

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: