Mormonism is NOT Christianity

Smith's later theology described Jesus and God...

Joseph Smith claimed that Jesus and God the Father were two distinct physical beings, as this illustration of Smith's alleged "vision" depicts. Wrong answer, Joe; try again. ... (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For various reasons, I’ve encountered the topic of Mormonism a lot recently. Back in high school I had a close friend who, along with her family, was Mormon, so I studied the religion quite a bit then, and I’ve recently had more reason to study it further. What I see is bizarre and disturbing.

The most important thing I want to say and make clear is this: Mormonism is not Christianity, and Mormons are not Christians.

It seems to be a common misconception that Mormonism is merely another branch of Christianity, such as Catholicism or Protestantism, or merely another Christian denomination, such as Baptist or Presbyterian. Not so. Mormons do not believe in the Jesus of Christianity, the Jesus of the Bible; in fact, Mormons disbelieve quite a bit of the Bible, claiming that much of Christian doctrine was corrupted down through the centuries, and that Mormon doctrine is the “true” or “original” gospel restored.

This is what disturbs me the most: that Mormons go around insisting that they’re Christians, using all the right key words publicly (“Jesus,” “God,” “the Bible”), but harboring belief in so many strange doctrines that in truth they have nearly nothing in common with Christianity. Mormons are bound and determined to call themselves Christians, saying, “We believe in Jesus,” but “belief in Jesus” can mean a lot of things. Muslims, for example, believe that Jesus was a real person—but they deny that He was the Son of God, claiming that He was merely a prophet (and not even the greatest prophet, a distinction they give to Mohammed). So does this mean that Muslims “believe in Jesus”? Should Muslims be considered Christians? Heck no.

What you believe about Jesus is what matters most. And Mormonism does not profess the beliefs about Jesus that Christianity professes. Christianity says Jesus and God the Father are the same being; Mormonism says Jesus and the Father are two separate beings distinct from one another. Christianity says God is spirit; Mormonism says God the Father has a physical body. Christianity says that Jesus is the sinless Creator and that Lucifer is a fallen creation; Mormonism says Jesus and Lucifer are “spirit brothers,” putting them on the same level. Christianity says Jesus is eternal and created everything out of nothing; Mormonism says God used to be a sinful man who somehow “exalted” himself to godhood and didn’t create out of nothing but merely “reorganized” already-existing material, then gave birth to “spirit children,” including Jesus and Lucifer. Christianity says salvation is only through trust in Jesus, and that works are simply a demonstration of our faith; Mormonism says salvation is not solely dependent on Jesus but also reliant on works.

There are many other bizarre doctrines inherent to Mormonism that are completely at odds with what the Bible teaches—celestial marriage, people becoming gods, pink spectacles used to decode golden plates, the lost tribe of Israel, Jesus coming to North America, magic underwear. There’s too much for one blog post, but there are some rather obvious … problems … with Mormonism that should make any reasonable person say, “Hold on a minute. That doesn’t make sense.” Example: Since founder Joseph Smith “discovered” these gold plates and pink spectacles only about 150 years ago—during a time when they could easily have been preserved—why weren’t they? Oh yeah, God asked for them back. Because, you know, he needed them for something else, or didn’t have the plates’ content memorized and needed to keep them close at hand. Another example: Mormons believe in “continual revelation”—that is, they claim to get “new info” from God at various times through the religion’s “living prophet.” Which is to say, fundamental Mormon doctrine can change at any time. Wow, that’s convenient. Pretty interesting, for example, that it was only a few decades ago—when information became more accessible and it became easier to scrutinize people and ideas—that Mormons received the “revelation” that polygamy is wrong. Nothing like trying to save public face: officially ditch the taboo practices (though polygamy in “celestial marriage” is still accepted), start using the right buzz words to make yourself sound mainstream, and hide all the weird doctrines until people are sufficiently sucked into your cult. So let’s see, since polygamy is now “wrong” in Mormonism, doesn’t that mean that the cult’s founder, Smith, was wrong? And if he was wrong about that, how can he be trusted on anything else?

And speaking of Smith: One of the primary methods I use for evaluating any belief system is to scrutinize the system’s founder: What was he like? What were his motives? And when I look at Joseph Smith, I see all kinds of problems. I see a man who, much like Islam’s Mohammed, clearly had an inferiority complex; I see someone who wanted attention, who wanted to be “loved” and “adored,” who wanted to be followed, to be the spotlight. Joseph Smith was convicted of fraud, for Pete’s sake—in New York state, for selling his services as a “water diviner” and then failing to come through on his promises. And then he cons a bunch of super-needy women into being cool with polygamy—because, you know, God said (at the time) that it was okay to have multiple wives. Surrrrre, it had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Smith just wanted sex with a lot of women, and that he could build his following more quickly by impregnating numerous women simultaneously. Yeah, that was God’s will, alright. And there are about a bazillion such men alive today who wish they could pull off such a scam.

Really, Mormons? You really believe Joseph Smith? You really believe that a tribe of Israelites got in a boat and sailed to North America, then spawned the Native Americans? Christianity is so much older than Mormonism yet has way more physical evidence—and if Mormonism were true, this would not be the case. We have Biblical manuscripts nearly 2,000 years old, and numerous archaeological finds to confirm even Old Testament stories—but you couldn’t manage to hang on to a couple gold plates and a pair of glasses from the time of Lincoln?

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Haley
    Mar 30, 2012 @ 05:31:45

    I think that you have a lot of misconceptions about Mormonism, and other Christian religions.
    Mormons believe FULLY in Jesus Christ! No they don’t believe in the trinity but that bible never states that the father son and holy spirit are one in the same. Mormonism is not the only Christian religion that does not believe in the trinity. Also, I have studied several religions and most believe god is a spirit AND a physical body.
    Mormons don’t believe the book of Mormon is the true and original gospel. They very much prize the holy bible, they just believe the book of Mormon is SUPPORT for the bible. These are events that took place here in America. Why would Jesus stay in one area alone?
    Severaaallll religions participated in polygamy. And so did most people, religious or not.
    “magic underwear” are garments worn to remind us that we are followers in Christ. They are meant as a reminder. Just like Catholic preists have the collar. You are not required to wear garments except when entering the temple.


  2. lbtk
    Mar 30, 2012 @ 15:19:17

    I want to know where the golden tablets are. I share your concerns. Another big concern of mine is that doctrine can be changed through whoever the current prophet is. If doctrine cannot stand the test of time, then how can people believe? When I’ve asked Mormons about what they believe, I’ve been told some things I know they don’t believe just so I will shut up and not ask anything else…especially when the person realizes that I know my Bible and have strong knowledge of the Christian faith. Great post. Sandy


  3. Deila
    Mar 30, 2012 @ 18:21:45

    It seems you are judging not only Joseph Smith, but all Mormons. If I am correct, it is against the Bible to judge others; that is to be left to God. (Matt 7:1) Also, to ridicule another person’s belief and make fun of them, calling what may be sacred to them, such as “pink spectacles” and “magic underwear” is not a Christ-like characteristic. Do you also make fun of the Jewish kippah or the Pope’s hat, a Priest’s collar? I am fine with your religion and do not ridicule your beliefs, perhaps you could be more tolerant of Mormons and see that there are many good people of many faiths. I am perfectly fine with you calling me a Mormon and not a Christian, if it makes you happy. But our Christian beliefs are in line with the first century Christians. We believe Jesus Christ to be our savior. Perhaps it is better to look for more common good in people.


  4. Kali Kay
    Mar 30, 2012 @ 23:05:09

    I have to say I enjoyed your article and don’t find it judgmental as much as it states the truth. I have mormon friends and have found that this “religion” judges people more than Christians because if you are not mormon you can’t get into the levels of heaven. Being a good person will not get you to heaven, only a belief in the True Christ the only son of God and part of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost will get you to the true heaven. I know that mormons believe that for a woman to get to any level of their heaven that they have to be married and called up to a level by their husband. The only one who will be calling me into heaven is Jesus and I go straight to the top because I believe and trust in Him. As far as the underwear goes, a true mormon has to wear them all the time not just when they go into the temple. Again, I know this because I have several friends who are mormon and we have talked about it.


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