Are Christians and Mormons the same religion?
Before researching the Mormon religion (typically called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints); I never knew how many differences there actually are between Mormons and Christian beliefs.
It turns out that there are several very significant differences between Christian and Mormon! I think it is really important to understand the differences.
Here we will discuss 5 of the biggest differences and why they matter.
What Are Mormons?
Mormons are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a religion that was founded in the 19th century by Joseph Smith.
Smith claimed that he was visited by God and Jesus Christ in a grove of trees near his home in upstate New York and was instructed to translate a set of golden plates that contained the ancient history of the Americas and the true teachings of Jesus. The result of this translation was the Book of Mormon.
Mormons today believe that Smith was a prophet who restored the teachings of Jesus Christ to the earth and that the Book of Mormon is a sacred text that contains the teachings of Jesus.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints places a strong emphasis on family, personal righteousness, and missionary work.
What Are Christians?
Christians are followers of Jesus Christ, who is the central figure of Christianity. Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life, teachings, and beliefs of Jesus as recorded in the Bible.
Christians believe that Jesus is the son of God and that he came to earth to save humanity from sin and death.
They follow Jesus’ teachings and believe that he is the way, the truth, and the life.
Christians seek to follow Jesus’ example and to follow God’s will for their lives as they believe it is revealed to them through the Bible and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
5 Major Differences Between Mormons and Christians:
1. The Means to Obtain Salvation
Both Mormons and Christians say that their salvation comes through Jesus Christ, however; who they believe Jesus is differs.
Jesus made many claims that He was God. Mormons do not believe this. They believe that Jesus was created by God.
Christians believe that Jesus is the Creator, one with God, according to the Bible (John 1:1-5).
Mormons believe that salvation is available to all people through Jesus’ atoning sacrifice, while Christians teach that salvation is only available to those who have faith in Jesus and accept him as their savior.
Mormons believe that blessings come through works and obedience to doctrines. Christians believe blessings come by grace through faith in what Christ has done.
2. The Bible As the Ultimate Authority
This is perhaps one of the most important differences between Christians and Mormons.
Christians believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God as revealed in 2 Timothy 3:16.
Mormons, in their own words – “do not believe the Bible to be inerrant, complete or the final word of God”. See what they say here.
Mormons believe portions of the Bible as long as it is in agreement with the Book of Mormon. They believe that the Bible is only accurate in areas where it agrees with the Book of Mormon.
Christians believe that the Bible is the ultimate authority and divinely inspired. Latter Day Saints view the Bible as secondary to the Latter Day Saints books.
The Book of Mormon contradicts the Bible in many areas. For instance, Mormons believe that Satan and Jesus are spirit brothers. This belief is in absolute contradiction to the Bible’s teachings.
Christians believe that Satan was first Lucifer, a created being (an angel) who was created to be good and bring glory to God, but fell because of pride and then became known as Satan (Isaiah 14:12-21).
Mormons get their beliefs from the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price and other books that came from Joseph Smith.
3. Sacred Texts
Although Mormons use the Bible to some extent, they also follow the Book of Mormon, which they believe is another sacred text that they believe contains the teachings of Jesus Christ.
The Book of Mormon is named after Mormon, an ancient prophet who is said to have compiled the record.
Mormons believe that the Book of Mormon is a record of God’s dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas and that it contains the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In addition to the Bible and the Book of Mormon, Mormons also follow the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price, which are collections of modern revelations, teachings, and histories that are considered to be part of Mormon scripture.
Basically, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints believes that there are other books of Scripture which are to be followed first, above the Bible.
4. Belief in the Nature of God
Mormons believe in the existence of a Heavenly Mother, as well as a Heavenly Father, in the Godhead.
According to Mormon belief, God the Father and God the Mother are both equal in power and glory, but they have different roles and responsibilities.
They believe that both God the Father and God the Mother are loving and perfect parents, who are involved in the lives of their children on earth.
Mormon beliefs about a Heavenly Mother are not found in the Bible; thereby they are not part of the Christian faith.
Mormons also believe that humans can progress to become like God through the process of exaltation, which is their ultimate goal. Christians believe that it is impossible to become like God apart from God. Christians believe that when they receive salvation, they are given a new spirit, made in God’s likeness (2 Corinthians 5:17-18).
Mormons believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are separate beings. Christians believe they are One, according to Scripture.
5. Belief in the Nature of Jesus
Both Mormons and Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God, but Mormons believe that He is a separate being from God the Father; and that He was created by God.
The Book of Mormon teaches that Jesus was God’s first creation. The Bible teaches that Jesus is God, the Creator of all things (John 1:1-5, Revelation 1:8, plus many other Scriptures).
Christian denominations believe in the doctrine of the Trinity, which teaches that God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are three persons in One Divine Being.
Christians believe in One God: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
The Bible teaches that Jesus created all things (Colossians 1:16), therefore He could not have been created by someone else.
Jesus made many claims to be God, and even the Old Testament prophecies clearly indicate that the Messiah would be Almighty God.
These are just a few of the vast differences between Mormons and Christians. There are many other differences in doctrine which I encourage you to research for yourself.
Although these two religions may appear similar on the surface, they actually have very, very different doctrines.
The differences listed here are not just trivial issues. They are major differences and should be taken into great consideration.
To sum it all up, I believe the major difference between Christian and Mormon is that the Mormon religion does not acknowledge the Bible as being the supreme authority and ultimate truth. Because of this belief, Mormon convictions differ greatly from that of the Christian faith.
*It is important to note that there is a great deal of diversity within both groups, and not all Mormons or Christians believe the same things. However, the differences listed here are what the official beliefs of each religion are.