Response to a Mormon Statement of Faith
January 3, 2004, some edited additions November, 2008
I want to take the Mormon statement of faith “The Living Christ” and compare it bit by bit to what Bible says. I am hoping you will be interested. The statement of faith is in red.
Mormon statement: "As we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ two millennia ago, we offer our testimony of the reality of His matchless life and the infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice. None other has had so profound an influence upon all who have lived and will yet live upon the earth."
I certainly have no quarrel with this!
Mormon Statement: "He was the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Messiah of the New. Under the direction of His Father, He was the creator of the earth. “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3)"
I agree that He is the Jehovah (YHWH) of the Old Testament. However that makes Him also having the same basic identity as the Father:
For unto us a child is
born, unto us a son is given;
Mormon Statement: "Though sinless, He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness."
The Bible clearly states,
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
Logically, then, if Jesus was NOT God, then He was a sinner. Therefore, if He was sinless (and He was), then He was by nature, God. We, by nature, are not. Nor was/is He “a” god, for we read in Isaiah
And on and on it goes. Christ, the only God, created men, they were not begotten in some heavenly realm before birth on earth. We are created beings responsible to our Creator, Jesus Christ, the One and Only God from all eternity past and into all eternity future. He claims to have stretched out the heavens as well. He is the Creator of everything that is, as your paper quotes. Not just of everything on earth or even in our solar system, but of everything in all creation. Period.
He was/is not and never has been a sinner because sin is defined by Him as rebellion against Him. He was not a glorified man in the incarnation. He was, is, and always shall be, God. The only God.
Mormon Statement: "He 'went about doing good' (Acts 10:38), and was despised for it."
He was NOT despised for doing good! He was despised for calling Himself God, and equal to God. This is what infuriated the Pharisees.
Please note that He defined the term ‘gods’ as those “to whom the word of God came.” It has nothing to do with being a deity. It refers to being an authority of some kind. The word "elohim" in Hebrew is a generic plural (meaning three or more) and is also translated as "judges" and "powers" in the Bible. Because the Jews had the law, they represented the authority of God. The fact that they abused this incredible privilege is what Jesus said would result in severe judgment. The LDS idea of gods is therefore totally unbiblical.
Mormon Statement: "His gospel was a message of peace and goodwill."
It should be mentioned here that the prime purpose of all Mormon men who are serious about their faith is to ‘find life’ as a future god. They are truly living for their own sakes and not for Christ’s.
Mormon Statement: "He entreated all to follow His example."
No, He didn’t. He entreated all to believe on Him. It is only then that it is even remotely possible to do as He showed us to do. That is because, as He told Nicodemus, we must be born again of the Spirit.
We CANNOT follow Jesus under our own power. It is the power and responsibility of God and of God alone to complete the good work He has begun in us (Phil. 1:6), and to transform us into the image of Christ Himself (Romans 8:28-30), using discipline when necessary when we are stubborn and/or wandering (Hebrews 12:5-11). Any works we try to do on our own are counted as filthy (menstrual) rags (Isaiah 64:6) and are totally unacceptable to God (Romans 8:8). Being a Christian is NOT following anyone’s example. It is dying to self completely and being born again spiritually in the image and power of Christ through the gracious Holy Spirit. It is only then we have the power to follow – and not His example. We follow Christ Jesus, Himself. For the born again Christian, it is Christ Jesus Himself who is living through us, for we are dead to ourselves and alive to Him, our Righteousness.
Mormon Statement: "He walked the roads of Palestine
Mormon Statement: "Healing the sick, causing the blind to see, and raising the dead."
Mormon Statement: "He taught the truths of eternity,"
He taught the truth, both of time and eternity, but the prime message was that He Himself IS THE Truth..
Mormon Statement: "The reality of our premortal existence"
Totally untrue. The Bible teaches start to finish that we are created beings, created by Christ. The concept of a premortal existence is Satanic to the core and is a primary doctrine of such religions as Hinduism and Buddhism. In fact, Rabi Maharaj, who was born into the Brahmin Caste of Hinduism and later converted to Christianity mentions in his book Death of a Guru, that when he first came in contact with Mormonism, he thought it was an Americanized form of Hinduism.
Mormon Statement: "The purpose of our life on earth"
Just to make sure it is straight biblically, our purpose here is to glorify God. That’s it, sum and total. We glorify Him by worshiping Him and Him only, by protecting the truth and His reputation with the way we live our lives, and by caring for others at least as well as we care for ourselves.
Mormon Statement: "And the potential for the sons and daughters of God in the life to come."
The Bible differs sharply from the Mormon view of the future, as exemplified in Christ’s high priestly prayer in John 17:
Jesus defines eternal life not as being gods and goddesses anywhere, but as being with Him in intimate communion. This is the meaning of the word “know” as used by Jesus here.
Mormon Statement: "He instituted the sacrament as a reminder of His great atoning sacrifice."
I assume Holy Communion is being referred to here. Nor is it technically to remember the sacrifice, but in His words, to remember HIM, Himself:
It is interesting, isn’t it, that when Christ spoke, He simply put the emphasis on Himself. It was Paul, later, who mentioned that Holy Communion would always be a proclamation of the Lord’s death. But the question I would pose to you, a Mormon, is this: "Who are you remembering? Are you remembering a person that your theology teaches is the brother to Satan, or are you remembering the one God of all eternity, the Creator of everything that is, who is also our Redeemer and Judge?"
Mormon Statement: "He was arrested and condemned on spurious charges, convicted to satisfy a mob, and sentenced to die on Calvary’s cross."
Remember the mob itself was acting in response to the goadings of the Pharisees and teachers of the law. Mobs are easily swayed.
It is also important to remember that the Jews who had proclaimed Him king on Palm Sunday expected, as a matter of fulfilled prophecy (as they interpreted it) that their Messiah would gather an army, take up arms, and conquer Rome. When Jesus did not do this, the Jews turned violently against Him, considering Him an imposter and blasphemer, as He had called Himself by the divine Name (in Greek, 'ego eimi,' which is recorded by John in his Gospel as being used by Jesus at least four times. It translates "I am I am." In calling Himself the "I AM" of the Old Testament, Jesus was identifying Himself as God).
Mormon Statement: "He gave His life to atone for the sins of all mankind."
Which is why no man goes to hell for his sins – except for the one which cannot be forgiven: refusing the truth that is clearly set before him (Romans 1). In the long run, The Truth is Christ Himself, and all truth will point to Him. Atonement is a legal satisfaction, and all the sins of all men for all time were legally taken care of by Christ on the cross. This paved the way for those who believe to be able to go to heaven. As John 3:16-18 states:
Mormon Statement: "His was a great vicarious gift in behalf of all who would ever live upon the earth."
While the sacrifice was vicarious, the gift was not. A gift cannot be vicarious -- it is either given to the person or it is not. The gift was and is direct and personal to every person ever alive. It was the sacrifice that was done in place of each of us. It was the sacrifice that was vicarious.
[Note: please do not confuse atonment, which is legal justification, with forgiveness, which is a personal thing between the individual and God. Atonement paved the way, but after that each individual must decide to go for the truth, which ends up being Christ Himself, or preferring the lie. If the person chooses the truth, he has the choice of totally submitting to Christ and thus being born again of the Holy Spirit, or trying to do it his own way, which, in the long run, is another form of the lie.]
Mormon Statement: "We solemnly testify that His life, which is central to all human history, neither began in Bethlehem nor concluded on Calvary. He was the Firstborn of the Father, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh, the Redeemer of the world."
Amen to the first sentence. However He was the only begotten of the Father, period ('firstborn' also translates into 'preeminent'). Nor is He the Redeemer of the world, for this world will be destroyed and there will be a new creation. Thus it is only the believers who stand redeemed, the rest, along with the world, go to destruction.
Mormon Statement: "He rose from the grave to “become the firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Corinthians 15:20). "
While that was one of the effects of His Resurrection, that was not the reason for it. The reason for it was us.
Mormon Statement: "As Risen Lord, He visited among those He had love in life. "
Yes. Keep in mind that since He said He IS the life, that this has a double meaning. He visited among those who were believers in Him.
Mormon Statement: "He also ministered among His “other sheep” (John 10:16) in ancient America."
This is a total misuse of this verse. The other sheep were the Gentiles, as Paul explains:
In other words, the other sheep were the Gentiles. It is always better to let Bible explain Bible. The Jews already knew that they were ‘sheep’ – see Isaiah 53:6:
Therefore the other sheep were simply the non-Jews, or the Gentiles. It is also impossible, biblically, for Christ to have gone to America after the Resurrection.
In other words, to say that Jesus went anywhere but Heaven after the Ascension, or has interrupted His work there as our intercessor and High Priest, until He comes again in glory (Rev. 19:11 on) is to openly contradict the Bible. This is fine if you don’t believe the Bible is the Word of God. But if it is the Word of God, and if Jesus spoke the truth, then He has been, and remains, seated at God’s right hand, interceding for us who are His.
Mormon Statement: "In the modern world, He and His Father appeared to the boy Joseph Smith, ushering in the long-promised “dispensation of the fullness of times” (Ephesians 1:10]"
By claiming this verse to be fulfilled in and through Joseph Smith, the Mormons are blithely ignoring all the evil in the world from that time on. All of a sudden Hitler, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, etc. are all under the headship of Christ! If this is the Christ of the Mormons, then he is extremely ineffectual in his rule, or simply does not care about justice, mercy, right and wrong. This is not the Christ I know and worship.
The following should also be noted, in view of the claim by Smith that he saw the Father and the Son in his vision(s):
In addition, of course, is also the material noted above referencing that Christ has been and remains seated in heaven until His return as prophesied in Revelation 19.
Mormon Statement: "Of the Living Christ, the Prophet Joseph wrote: 'His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:
“I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father' (D&C 110:3-4)"
Usually when something is lifted from another source, the lifter does not attempt to plagiarize, but will give reference. Please note:
John, of course, like all who were presented with heavenly visitations in the Bible, had the reaction of total fear, even though he was the beloved disciple. It is interesting that Joseph Smith never seemed to have that reaction.
Mormon Statement: "Of Him the Prophet also declared: 'And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!'"
This is already the testimony of Christ Himself and needs no other man to confirm or verify it.
I AM THE LIVING ONE (Rev. 1:18)
Mormon Statement: “For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father –
'That by Him and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God'” (D&C 76:22-24)
It is true that Jesus Christ is the ONLY begotten of the Father, which contradicts part of the Mormon statement of faith above. It is just as true, then, that we are not begotten children of God the Father.
There are a couple of other points in that last sentence:
1. No worlds and nothing in creation were created OF Christ. All was created BY Him. To say “OF” Him is saying that there is divine essence in every part of creation. He no more created OF Himself than a builder would put parts of his body into a house he builds! Christ is absolutely separate from His creation. He is God.
2. Creation was finished after Creation week, thousands of years ago. No more worlds are being created by Him, or by anyone else, until this creation is completely destroyed and a new creation made -- by Him. “Thus the heavens and the earth were created in all their vast array.” (Gen. 2:1), and “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.” (Exodus 20:11) In short, although formation, such as of stars, or babies, or pansies, still takes place, the creation itself has long since been finished, declared so by God.
3. Human beings and angelic beings are created. Only God is uncreated and only the incarnation of Jesus Christ, God Himself, was a conception God did as a miraculous overshadowing of Mary and not a human sexual act. There is no such thing as ‘spirit children’ of God or any god in any ‘pre-life’. This is pure fantasy, and a demonic fantasy at that.
Mormon Statement: "We declare in words of solemnity that His priesthood and His Church have been restored upon the earth – 'built upon the foundation of…apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone' (Ephesians 2:20)."
These words are meant to say that the LDS church is that church. But if this is true, then Christ was lying when He told Peter and the Disciples that the gates of Hades would not overcome His church (Matthew 16:18). For evidently, as far as the implications of the above quote from the Mormon document indicate, for almost 2000 years the gates of Hades very much overcame His church! Now, if Jesus Christ was a liar, who would want to build a church with Him as a cornerstone?
But He is THE Truth. He did not lie. The gates of Hades never did overcome or prevail. Despite Roman Catholicism, despite Deism and various intellectual movements through the ages, there has ALWAYS been a remnant of the faithful believers, in every time and every age. We remain.
It might also be good to see the LDSverse quoted above in context in the Bible:
The church here is spoken of as established on THOSE apostles and prophets, and flourishing, joining both Jew and Gentile believers into one body, one dwelling for God. It has nothing to do with something in the future, let alone in America, but with something already established by Christ and growing. This is far, far different from the Mormon claim of some kind of ‘restoration’ through anyone else.
Mormon Statement: "We testify that He will someday return to earth. 'And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together'” (Isaiah 40:5)
This is already a matter of prophecy in the Bible and needs no other ‘support.’
Mormon Statement: "He will rule as King of Kings and reign as Lord of Lords, and every knee shall bend and every tongue shall speak in worship before Him."
That is a very clever twist on the verse, but it is not what the Bible actually says. Not all will worship. All will confess that He is the I AM of all eternity, but not all will worship.
No, not everyone will worship, but all will end up confessing, or acknowledging, the truth.
Mormon Statement: "Each of us will stand to be judged of Him according to our works and the desires of our hearts."
That is not what the Bible says.
It does not matter what they have done or thought or desired. What matters is what they did with the Truth, with Christ.
In other words, while the saved believers are judged according to their works and words, and awarded the ‘prizes’ or ‘crowns’ in accordance with that judgment, the wicked will never even get to that judgment. They are eliminated from the beginning, as the tares which are burned even before the harvest.
Mormon Statement: "We bear testimony, as His duly ordained Apostles – that Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son."
While I also praise and thank God for His Incarnation as Jesus Christ, and agree that Jesus is the living Christ, the eternal Son of God (a little different from just ‘immortal’, as He has been always and there was never a time when He wasn’t), and agree that He is Immanuel, there are some points in the above paragraph which are contradictory to Bible:
My friend, the document of faith you sent me is contradictory to the Bible in so many areas that I am stunned anyone who has read the Bible would put their name to it. So I can only ask you to read the Bible. Front to back. Without a commentary, without notes from anyone else, and with prayer to God Himself for wisdom in understanding it. Let it be between you and God, please.