The fundamental difference between Mormonism and Christianity is the LDS doctrine of “many Gods.” Polytheism (i.e., the belief that more than one true God exists) is roundly condemned in biblical theology (e.g., Deut. 6:4; Isa. 43:10; 44:6, 8; 45:5). It is this belief alone that excludes Mormons from being Christian. Mormons assert that God the Father (and Jesus) was once a man that lived on an earth, similar to this one, whereby He worked His way up and earn His Godhood (salvation), by obedience to the law (just as did Jesus). This entire process: spirit child (pre-existence) to mortal man (on earth)- to a God (of His own planet(s) sometime after the final resurrection) is termed by Mormons as “Eternal Progression.”

Thus, the ultimate goal for the Mormon male is “Exaltation.” Exaltation is the heart of Mormon theology. Exaltation in LDS vernacular, simple means: man progressing to the status of Godhood (salvation in its truest sense). Hence, exaltation is the ultimate future goal of most every devoted Mormon male.

Of course, exaltation is future. That is, worthy Mormon candidates may, become a God in the after-life (after the resurrection). However, they must, here on earth, first prove themselves worthy by obeying the mandates of the LDS Church, which includes marrying and being sealed in their Temple. In LDS teaching, there are no single Gods. And since men cannot become Gods presently, Mormons refer to men as “Gods in embryo.”

Mormons often quote this vexatious phase, “As man is, God once was, as God is man may become” (coined by LDS Apostle and later fifth president Lorenzo Snow), this LDS maxim sums up the teaching of exaltation. First Prophet and President of the LDS Church, Joseph Smith first annunciated this teaching:

Here then is eternal life- to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you, namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings, and to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power (Joseph Fielding Smith ed, Teachings of The Prophet Joseph Smith, 346-47).

In the same sermon,1 Smith goes on to say:

When you climb up the ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principals of the Gospel- you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principals of exaltation (ibid., 348).

In his book: Doctrines of Salvation, under the subject: ALL EXALTED MEN BECOME GODS, tenth President and Prophet, Joseph Fielding Smith teaches:

To believe that Adam is a god should not be strange to any person who accepts the Bible. When Jesus was accused of blasphemy because he claimed to be the Son of God, he answered the Jews: “Is it not written in your law, I said Ye are gods? . . . Joseph Smith taught a plurality of gods 2 and that man by obeying the commandments of God and keeping the whole law will eventually reach the power and exaltation by which he also will become a god (97-98; emphasis added).

Teaching on exaltation, Twelfth President, Spencer W. Kimball says:

Brethren 225,000 of you are here tonight. I suppose 225, 000 of you may become gods. There seems to be plenty of space out there in the universe. And the Lord has proved that he knows how to do it. I think he could make, or probably have us help make, worlds for all of us, for every one of us 225,000 (The Ensign, Nov. 1975, 80; emphasis added).

In his book: A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, after quoting Doctrine and Covenants, 132:4-6, 15-17, 19, 212, LDS Apostle Le Grand Richards writes:

From this revelation, it will be seen that men can become Gods and enjoy a “fullness and a continuation of the seeds fore ever and ever,” only by observing the new and everlasting covenant of marriage. . . . (313).

LDS General Authority and LDS Apostle, Bruce R. McConkie states:

Exaltation grows out of the eternal union of a man and his wife. Of those whose marriage endures in eternity, the Lord says, “Then shall they be gods” (D. & C. 132:20); that is, each of them, the man and the woman, will be a god.3 As such they will rule over their dominions forever (Mormon Doctrine, 613; cf. 257).

This is the basic tenet of Mormon doctrine. In fact, all those who do not make this elite status are “damned,” in Mormon teaching.4 And, of course, Godhood is only available in the highest level of the celestial kingdom.

Biblical Teaching

In Scripture, God has much to say concerning polytheism (many true Gods) and the false idea that that men can become a God. Keep in mind, Mormons believe that God was once a man, hence, Mormons are taught that God is not the eternal God from everlasting to everlasting (cf. Ps. 90:2), for God had to become God

Isaiah 43:10 and 44:6, 8

Isaiah 44:6, 8:

First, keep in mind that in the OT, the Mormons are taught that the “LORD” (Heb. Yahweh or, as the Mormons pronounce, “Jehovah”) is the pre-incarnate Christ and “God” (Heb. Elohim) is the Father.

With that in mind, Isaiah 44:6, 8 reads:

44:6: Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

44:8: Fear ye not, neither be afraid; have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.

Note first that it is the LORD speaking–who the Mormons think is Jesus, not the Father, the Father is Elohim (“God”). So how is it that the Son (LORD) can say “beside me there is no “God” [Elohim, the Father]? Does He deny His Father’s (Elohim) existence?

And how is it that the Son can affirm that “there is no God [Elohim]” and that He knows of “not any.”? This passages in light of Mormon theology is quite problematic.

Further, the LORD asks, “Is there a God beside me?” In LDS theology, there are many Gods, so, how is it that the LORD would ask, “Is there a God beside Me?”? Is not the LORD omniscient, knowing all things?

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Isaiah 43:10:

“Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: That ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he; before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me” (Isa. 43:10).

Notice, God affirms: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. Also we read:

“for I am God, and there is none else” (Isa. 45:22; emphasis added).

Mormons usually respond to this verse and others by asserting that either (a) the translation is corrupt or (b) God here, as in Isa. 43:10; and 44:6, 8 is speaking of false gods or idols. However, this line of reasoning is flawed.

First, virtually every manuscript, and translation that contains Isaiah 43:10 and 44:6, 8 whether Hebrew or the Septuagint (LXX; i.e., the Gk. Translation of the OT, which Jesus and the apostles frequently used) essentiality reads the same. What is more, the oldest complete manuscript of Isaiah (extant) contained in the Dead Sea Scrolls also reads the same!: “before me there was no God [Heb. El] formed, neither shall there be after me.”

Secondly, in Isaiah 43:10 God is not saying: ” No other false Gods exist but Me,” for He is the true God. Hence, there are no other true Gods that exist but the one true God of Scripture, Creator of Heaven and earth (cf. Is. 44:24).

But the LORD [is] the true God, he [is] the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, [even] they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens (Jer. 10:10-11).

Exaltation (i.e., man becoming a God) is an utterly pagan doctrine, which, by the way, did not originate with the Mormons but rather was quite pervasive among the pagans, centuries before Mormonism. Hence we find a clear and pointed refutation in the book of Isaiah: “BEFORE ME THERE WAS NO GOD FORMED, NEITHER SHALL THERE BE AFTER ME” (43:10; emphasis added).

You have been taught that the LORD alone is God – there is no other besides him (Deut. 4:35).

Notes

1,One of Smith’s greatest sermons, Mormons tell us, called: The King Follett Discourse. Joseph Smith delivered this discourse before about twenty thousand LDS at the April conference of the church, 1844, being the funeral sermon of Elder King Follett. LDS writers and General Authorities, frequently quote portions of this sermon when teaching and discussing official LDS doctrine.

2, Doctrine and Covenants, 132:20 reads: “Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.”

3, Not implying that women would be the man’s equal (according to LDS theology), however, they teach that women will be “queens” (goddesses) to their King (their husband) in full submission. Hence, they will not be the head God, that position is only relegated for men. As one LDS writer put it: “women will be eternal birth-machines.”

4, Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 669.

If you have dialogued with Mormon missionaries, you have, no doubt, been frustrated to find that Mormons constantly use Christian vocabulary and unfamiliar LDS terms to propagate the teachings of their church. Along with Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, and most non-Christian cults the Mormons will declare: “Jesus is my Lord and Savior,” “There is only one eternal God,” “I am a true Christian,” “Jesus died for me and I am saved by grace,” and other terms that sound absolutely Christian. Furthermore, there are many distinct LDS doctrinal terms that Mormons will employ as well.

Therefore, it is important for Christians to be familiar with these distinct LDS terms, as well as being able to define Christian terms that Mormons utilized in dialogue. When the Mormon say: “I am saved by grace,” what do they mean by that? Or when they say: “I believe in the Trinity,” what does that mean to them? If you do not define the meanings that are poured into words, you will agree to the terms without understanding what is really being stated.

Below is a list to some important distinct LDS doctrinal terms along with common Christian terms. The terms will be defined by LDS teaching and understanding. Hence, when Mormon missionaries use these terms you will have a better understanding to what they actually mean.

Aaronic Priesthood: The lesser of the two LDS priesthoods (see below: Melchizedek Priesthood). To be ordained to this office of Priesthood the worthy male (women are excluded) must be 12 years of age. There are three offices within this Priesthood: age 12, Deacon; age 14, Teacher; age 16, Priest. The function of the Aaronic Priesthood is the ministry of temporal needs of the church (e.g., collect the fast offerings on the first Sunday of each month; perform baptisms; assist in home teachings etc.).

Adam: The first of the human family on earth. The Ancient of Days, and is also known as Michael the archangel.

Adam-God Doctrine: Second President of the Church, Brigham Young taught that Adam was God the Father, “the only God with whom we have to do.” This doctrine was taught and preached by Young, for over twenty years. In 1852 Young stated:

When our Father Adam came into the Garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is MICHAEL the Arch-angel, the ANCIENT of DAYS!. . . . He is our FATHER and our GOD and the only God with whom we have to do (Journal of Discourses, 1:50, 1852; emphasis theirs)

Young was always consistent with this teaching. Twenty-one years after his statements in Journal of Discourses, in an article in the Deseret News, he confirmed this teaching to his Mormon devotes:

How much unbelief exists in the minds of the Latter-day Saints in regard to one particular doctrine which I revealed to them, and which God revealed unto me- namely that Adam is our Father and our God. . . . (Deseret News, June 18, 1873).

If anyone wishes to assert that this teaching was not official but rather the mere speculation of LDS Prophet, Brigham Young, notice this statement where Young refutes that idea:

I have never yet preached a sermon [as in Journal of Discourses] and sent it out to the children of men that they may not call Scripture. . . . (Journal of Discourses, 13:95; emphasis added).

Adoption: When one becomes a Mormon their blood physically changes to Jewish blood. Bruce R. McConkie explains:

By the law of adoption those who receive the gospel and obey its laws, no matter what their literal blood lineage may have been, are adopted into the lineage of Abraham. . . . to purge out the old blood, and make him actually of the seed of Abraham (Mormon Doctrine, 23 )

That this adoption involves a literal change in the convert’s blood was plainly taught by the Prophet (ibid., p. 390).

Angel: The spirit children of Father God and Mother(s) God in pre-existence.

Apostle: A person called to be a special witness for Christ. The LDS apostles are “apostles” in a most literal sense as with the New Testament apostles.

Baptism: Provides remission of sins; membership in the LDS Church; is the gate that leads to the celestial kingdom (i.e., the third and highest heaven; see: Heaven); personal sanctification. May only be performed by legal administrators of the LDS Church.

Baptism for the Dead: Baptism performed by a living person for someone that is dead. The purpose of this ordinance is to enable a person who died with out the LDS gospel to become a member of the LDS Church. Since one cannot be a member without being baptized in the LDS temple while they were still alive, a living person may be baptized in substitution.

In the spirit world, (see Spirit World) there are Mormon missionaries that preach the LDS gospel to those that died as a non-members (they are in spirit prison; see Hell). If a person should accept the LDS gospel, they can become members (assuming a living person was baptized for them). Then, after becoming a member can progress to a higher level of heaven (see Heaven).

Bible: “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God” (Pearl of Great Faith: eighth Article of Faith). The only recognized Bible is the King James Version. The Bible has been corrupted by the hands of men.

Blacks: Less valiant fighters in their pre-existent life, hence God cursed them with black skin. They were also cursed as to the Priesthood until 1978. Joseph Smith stated:

Had I anything to do with the negro, I would confine them by strict law to their own species, and put them on a national equalization (Joseph Fielding Smith, ed., Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 270; History of the Church, 5:218; emphasis added)

Brigham Young second President and Prophet states:

You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind… the Lord put a mark upon him, which was the flat nose and black skin. (Journal of Discourses, 7:290; emphasis added).

Young further states:

Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be (ibid., 10:110; emphasis added). See The LDS Church and Black Skin.

Blood Atonement: Spilling your own blood for remission of the sins which are so vial that the blood of Jesus Christ cannot cover them. Brigham Young explains:

There is not a man or woman who violates covenants made with their God that will not be required to pay the dept. The blood of Christ will never wipe that out. Your own blood must atone for it, the judgments of the Almighty will come sooner or later, and every man and women will have to atone for breaking covenants (Journal of Discourses, 3:247).

Born Again: When a person becomes a member of the LDS Church and continues to be faithful.

Burning in the Bosom: Confirmation of truth, allegedly by the power of the Holy Ghost (cf. Moroni 10:4-5).

Christian: Mormons only (cf. Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 132).

Church of the Devil: All non-LDS churches (cf. 1 Nephi 14:10).

Church of the Lamb of God: The LDS Church (ibid.).

Create: To organize elements that already exist into new form. In LDS theology, God does not create out of nothing he only forms and organizes eternal matter that has always existed. Joseph Smith said:

I might with boldness proclaim from the house-tops that God never had the power to create the spirit of man at all (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 354).

Elohim: The personal name for God the Father.

Eternal (God): All matter and intelligences are eternal, thus, man and God, in that way, are said to be “eternal.” God has not always been God, only that his intelligence has always existed (cf. Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salivation, 12; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 352-54).

Eternal Progression: The process of going from: Pre-existence to being mortal on earth, to exaltation (i.e., becoming a God) (cf. Mormon Doctrine, 238-39).

Exaltation: Becoming a God. Exaltation is synonymous with “eternal life” and “true salvation.”

Gabriel: Noah (cf. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 157).

Fall of Adam: The change to mortality when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. The fall, Mormons say, was s good thing. If Adam and Eve had not transgressed, they would not have had the capacity to have children.

Gentile: A non-member of the LDS Church.

General Authorities: Leaders of the LDS Church: The First Presidency, Council of the Twelve (apostles), the Patriarch to the Church, Assistants to the Twelve, First Council of the Seventy, and the Presiding Bishopric.

Godhead: Three separate Gods: God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. They are one in purpose and unity only, not one in nature (ontologically). Joseph Smith explains:

I will preach on the plurality of Gods . . . I have always and in all congregations when I have preached on the subject of Deity, it has been the plurality of Gods. . . . Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 370; emphasis added).

God the Father: An exalted man with a body of flesh and bones as well as sexual desires. He is the head God for this world. He was once a mortal man that became a God by obedience to law. He has a Father over him, that Father has a Father, and that Father has a Father, etc., hence an infinite regression of the Gods. He was married to his own daughter, the Virgin Mary, whereby sexual relations, begot Jesus.

Heaven: Three levels: celestial the highest; the terrestrial the middle and the telestial being the lowest of the three.

Hell: The temporary holding place where all the wicked will be tormented. Then after their resurrection, the majority will go on to the telestial heaven (the lowest level). Hell will have an end. Mormons refer to hell as “eternal” only in the sense that the temporary punishment is from an eternal God. But the Devil, his angels, and the sons of perdition will be tormented in “outer darkness” forever. (cf. Mormon Doctrine, 349-50, 746).

Holy Ghost: One of the three Gods in the Godhead. Does not have a body of flesh and bones.

Jehovah: Or “LORD.” The identity of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament.

Jesus Christ: One of the three Gods in the Godhead. He is the “LORD” or “Jehovah” of the Old Testament. His Atonement provided immortality (only) for all men. Hence, men have the opportunity to work for their salvation.

Jesus was the literal Son of Elohim (by sexual relations with the Virgin Mary). That is why Jesus is called: “Only Begotten Son in the Flesh.” (Mormon Doctrine, 546-47, 742).

Jesus was a polygamist, married to Mary, Martha, and the other Mary. Along with his Father, he also was once a mere man that sinned and was in need of redemption. He had to earn his salvation by obedience to law.

Kolob (the planet): The star nearest to the throne of God the Father (Elohim) (cf. Pearl of Great Price: Abraham, 3:2-3, 9).

Lucifer: One of Elohim’s spirit children. He is Jesus’ spirit brother. He was a good angel but rebelled and was expelled from Heaven, taking a third of the spirit children with him.

Melchizedek Priesthood: The higher of the two LDS priesthoods. Without this Priesthood, exaltation (i.e., becoming a God) cannot be attained nor can any male enter into the LDS temple (except worthy Priest of the Aaronic Priesthood may enter, only to perform Baptisms). The worthy candidate (only white males until 1978) must be 18 years of age and hold the Aaronic Priesthood. The offices of the Melchizedek Priesthood include: Elder, Seventy, and High Priest. This Priesthood was conferred on Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in June, 1829 by the Apostle Peter, James and John.

Moroni: Son of the Book of Mormon character, Mormon. In 1823, the angel Moroni appeared to Smith and delivered the records (i.e., gold plates) of ancient America (600 B.C. to A.D. 421) to him. Smith translated the gold plates in 1827 and thus in 1830 the Book of Mormon emerged.

One God: There is only one God, for this world. Other Gods in other worlds have nothing to do with us in this world. Only the God for this world is to be worshipped and prayed to.

Only Begotten Son in the Flesh: Jesus Christ is called “Only Begotten in the flesh” because he was the only one (firstborn) of Elohim’s spirit children that was begotten (by sexual relations) both in the spirit and in the flesh. God the Father had sexual relations with the Virgin Mary to procreate Jesus’ physical body. Second LDS President, Brigham Young declares:

and when he took a tabernacle [body], it was begotten by his Father in heaven, after the same manner as the tabernacles of Cain, Abel and the rest of the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve. . . . (Journal of Discourses, 1:50; emphasis added).

The birth of the Savior was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood–was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers. . . . (ibid., 8:115; see my article The Paternity of Jesus Christ).

Outer Darkness: The final dwelling place for the Devil, his angels, and the sons of perdition (see Hell).

Plain and Precious things: The many truths that were deleted from the original Bible.

Pre-Existence: The pre-mortal existence of mankind, as spirit children of God the Father. This is, before they come to earth. No one remembers his or her pre-existence life, also referred to as the “first estate.”

Prophet: One who speaks for God. The President of the LDS Church is God’s Prophet on earth. As with the Old Testament prophets, the LDS President is a Prophet in a technical and literal sense.

Salvation: “There is no salvation outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Mormon Doctrine, 670). “Salvation” in its truest sense is exaltation, which is, becoming a God. True salvation, is synonymous with exaltation and eternal life. There are two types of salvation:

1, General salvation: Because of the Atonement of Christ, all men will be resurrected to immortality and will dwell in one of the three levels of heaven (except the “sons of perdition”).

2, Individual salvation: Where men have the opportunity to work for their salvation and progress to Godhood (exaltation). This type of salvation is what Jesus and the apostles preached about. This “true” salvation can only be attained by meritorious works. The Book of Mormon is clear:

for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do (2 Nephi 25:23; emphasis added).

LDS Apostle Bruce R. McConkie informs the Mormon people that:

Salvation in the celestial kingdom of God, however, is not salvation by grace alone. Rather, it is salvation by grace coupled with obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel (Mormon Doctrine, 671).

Saved by Grace: Because of the grace of Jesus Christ, all men will be resurrected to immortality. Immortality comes by grace alone. Therefore, we are saved (general salvation) by grace.

Sealings: Those ordinances performed in the LDS temple whereby husbands and wives are sealed together in the marriage union for time and eternity. To become a God the man has to be married and sealed in the LDS Temple–hence, there are no single Gods.

Scripture (God’s Word): The Standard Works of the LDS Church (see Standard Works). Scripture is also the spoken word by the men of God, when moved by the Holy Ghost, which would include the President and the General Authorities of the LDS Church.

Standard Works: The Book of Mormon; Doctrine and Covenants; Pearl of Great Price; and the KJV Bible, as far as it is translated correctly.

Spirit World: The abiding place of disembodied spirits that await the day of their resurrection. This world is divided into two parts: Paradise for the righteous (faithful Mormons) and Hell (“spirit prison”) which is the temporary abode of the wicked (see Hell).

Trinity: Three separate Gods. These three Gods are: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. They are one in purpose and unity. But they are not one in nature (see Godhead).

Zion: The city of New Jerusalem, to be built in Jackson County, Missouri, is to be called Zion.

A primary evaluation of the LDS doctrine of salvation can not be fully concluded without the mention of the horrible LDS doctrine of “Blood Atonement.” It is necessary to address this extraordinarily shocking doctrine. In point of fact, LDS leaders (General Authorities) have taught that there are some sins that are so grievous that the blood of Christ cannot atone for them, hence, they (the men and women that commit these certain sins) would have to spill their own blood.

In other words, LDS leaders would actually teach that the people whom commit certain sins would have to be killed to atone for their sins. LDS leaders now suppress this notoriously anti-Christian doctrine, however, historically, this was taught and practiced. It is a matter of record.

Despite God’s commandment not to murder and the many clear verses in Scripture that teach: Jesus forgives ALL SINS, Brigham Young explains:

There is not a man or woman who violates covenants made with their God that will not be required to pay the dept. The blood of Christ will never wipe that out. Your own blood must atone for it, the judgments of the Almighty will come sooner or later, and every man and women will have to atone for breaking covenants (Journal of Discourses, 3:247).

Young goes on to say:

Suppose he is overtaken in a gross fault, that he has committed a sin that he knows that will deprive him of exaltation which he desires, and that he cannot attain to it without the shedding of his blood, and also knows that by having his blood shed he will atone for that sin and be saved and exalted with the Gods. . . . (Journal of Discourses, 4:219).

Keep in mind Brigham Young was the second President and Prophet of the Mormon Church the successor of Joseph Smith, hence Mormons will concede that the teachings of Young were Scripture. Present day LDS leaders however, converge their efforts to expunge this outrageous doctrine. But the documentation is overwhelming and is a matter of record. Concurring with Young, Joseph Fielding Smith, tenth President and Prophet of the Mormon Church, tells us:

Joseph Smith taught that there were certain sins so grievous that man may commit, that will place the transgressors beyond the power of the atonement of the power of Christ. If these offences are committed, then the blood of Christ will not cleanse them from their sins even though they repent. Therefore their only hope is to have their own blood shed to atone, as far possible, in their behalf” (Doctrines of Salvation, 1:133-38)

To say that there are some sins that Jesus could not atone for is notably blasphemous and sharply undermines the clear teaching in Scripture. The Apostle John unequivocally states:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9; emphasis added).

The Apostle Paul reminds us:

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. . . . (1 Cor. 15:3; NASB)

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace (Eph. 1:7; ibid.; cf. Col. 1:14)

In the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight (Col. 1:22).

Jesus forgives ALL SINS. There is no distinction of kinds or types of sins. He forgives all. Because of one sacrifice (death on the cross) Christians are presently and completely perfect in God’s sight:

For by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified… And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more (Heb. 10:14, 17; emphasis added).

Christ hath perfected them forever.

The LDS system of salvation affirms that baptism is essential for true salvation. Mormons equate baptism, into their church with being “born again.” Bruce R. McConkie stresses the importance of baptism saying:

The second birth begins when men are baptized in water by a legal administrator. . . . (Mormon Doctrine, 101).

Strangely enough, Mormons tell us that at the moment of baptism their blood literally changes into Jewish blood.1 LDS Apostle and teacher, Bruce R. McConkie explains:

But if someone whose blood was wholly of Gentile lineage were converted, he would be adopted into the lineage of Abraham and Jacob and become the house of Israel. (Abraham 2:9-11.) That this action involves a literal change in the convert’s blood was plainly taught by the Prophet [Joseph Smith] . . . “while the effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile, is to purge out the old blood, and make him actually of the seed of Abraham. . . .” (Teachings, 149-150) (Mormon Doctrine, 390; emphasis added)

Nevertheless, in LDS theology baptism is essential for salvation.

LDS Proof texts

All groups that teach baptismal regeneration use generally the same passages to try to prove that water baptism is necessary for salvation: Mark 16:16; John 3:5; Acts 2:38; 22:16; and 1 Peter 3:19ff. By asserting that water baptism, or any external deed, is necessary to receive justification, the LDS Church places its members in a state, as the Apostle Paul warns, of anathema (i.e., Divine condemnation; see Gal. 1:6ff.).

To respond to exegetically to the assertion of baptismal regeneration, please go here: International Church of Christ.

Salvation is by Grace Alone through Faith Alone

John 5:24; 6:47 Acts 10:43; 16:31 Romans 4:4; 5:1 Ephesians 2:8 Titus 3:5 Heb. 10:14.

At least 60 times in the New Testament is salvation explicitly tied with repentance or faith but never with baptism.

The LDS Teaching of Baptism for the Dead: 1 Corinthians 15:15:29.

Besides the fact that the LDS doctrine of baptism for the dead is non existent in church history, the entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 15, Paul uses first person plural (i.e., “our,” “us,” “we”) to refer to Christians but when he gets to verse 29, he then switches using second person (“they”). Hence, he does not include himself or the Corinthian church with this practice (v. 29: “what will they do” Not: “what will we do”). Most likely, that the pagans of the day were practicing baptism for the dead, but even so, it still was not with synonymous with the LDS way of thinking.

Judgment is at DEATH: Matthew 25:46; John 3:36; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 14:9-11; 20:10, 15.

Notes

1, Cf. Joseph Smith, History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City, Utah: Dessert Book Company, 1973) 3: 380; Journal of Discourses, 2:268-69

2, Much evidence exist demonstrating that the ending of Mark (16:9-20) is spurious.

Concerning the canonical objections of the long ending of Mark 16:9-20:

External Evidence:

1. The reading (vv. 9-20) that appears in the majority of manuscripts is not found in the earliest manuscripts (e.g., codex Vaticanus, codex Sinaiticus, codex Bezae, codex Regius, codex Sangallensis, etc.; also Jerome was aware of manuscripts that did not contain it).

2. A number of manuscripts that do include it have critical marks (e.g., asterisks) indicating that the scribe knew of its spurious nature.

3. There are at least four different endings of Mark that exist (e.g., a longer ending than that of the majority rendering appears in codex W).

Internal Evidence:

1. In Scripture, water baptism is never so closely woven together with salvation.

2. There are several non-Markan words.

3. There is a numerical problem: “Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table. . . .” (v. 14). But was not Thomas absent?

4. Compared to the other post-resurrection events reported in Matthew, Luke, and John we find peculiarities in verses 9-20, e.g., Jesus as appearing in a different form (v. 12); Jesus rebukes His disciples for their unbelief, which was completely out of character (v. 14).

Therefore in light of the compelling evidence above it is highly unlikely that the ending of Mark that appears in the majority of manuscripts (but not he earliest) was contained in the original

In Mormon theology Jesus is not the eternal God second Person of a Triune Being but rather He is “a God,” one of the Gods in the Godhead (for this world). Of course, this teaching: more than one true God, is polytheism to be sure, and hence anti-biblical (cf. Duet. 4:35; 6:4; Isa. 43:10; 44:6, 8).

It should be noted that in LDS theology, to become a “God” the worthy male (NOT females) must first live as a “mortal” on earth and pass through the same ordeals and testing of his second estate on earth, the same as all the Gods have done before him (including the God the Father and Jesus). The first estate for humans was in Heaven as “spirit children” of Elohim (God the Father) and one of His wives). Also, to become a God, Mormons tell us that the worthy male must be married (i.e., sealed for eternity). What is problematic for the Mormon to explain though, is that according to LDS doctrine, Jesus was a God before He came to earth.1 How was Jesus able to beat the LDS system?

Was is true, Mormon missionaries know to carefully avoid their churches teaching that Jesus was a polygamous. He was married to Mary, Martha, and the other Mary. Moreover, Mormons say that Jesus had children by them as well. I will quote from only the General Authorities of the LDS Church whereby removing myself from mere opinion and speculation.

LDS Apostle, Orson Hyde:

Jesus was the bridegroom at the marriage of Cana of Galilee…We say it was Jesus Christ who was married, to be brought into relation whereby he could see his seed [children] before he was crucified (Journal of Discourses, 2:82; emphasis added)

There was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and on a careful reading of that transaction, it will be discovered that non less a person that Jesus Christ was married on that occasion. If he was never married, his intimacy with Mary and Martha an the other Mary also whom Jesus loved, must have been highly unbecoming and improper to say the best of it (Journal of Discourses, 4:259; emphasis added)

LDS Apostle, (and to become the LDS President) Wilford Woodruff:

In the Church councils, it was spoken of: “Joseph F. Smith. . . . He spoke upon the marriage in Cana of Galilee. He thought Jesus was the bridegroom and Mary and Martha the brides (Journal of Wilford Woodruff, July 22, 1883)

LDS Apostle, Jedediah Grant:

The grand reason of the burst of public sentiment in anathemas upon Christ and his disciples, causing his crucifixion, was evidently based upon polygamy, according to the testimony of the philosophers who rose in that age. A belief in doctrine of a plurality of wives caused the persecution of Jesus and his followers. We might almost think they were Mormons (Journal of Discourses, 1:346; emphasis added)

LDS Apostle, (and prolific writer on LDS doctrine) Orson Pratt:

One thing is certain, that there were several holy women that great loved Jesus, such as Mary and Martha her sister, and Mary Magdalene; and Jesus greatly loved them and associated with the much; and when he arose from the dead, instead of first showing himself to his chosen witnesses, the Apostles, He appeared first to these women, or at least to one of them–namely, Mary Magdalene. Now, it would be very natural for a husband in the resurrection to appear first to his own dear wives, and afterwards show himself to his other friends. If all the acts of Jesus were written, we no doubt should learn that these beloved women were his wives (The Seer, 159).

There are many more quotations that can be cited made by the General Authorities of the LDS Church. Mormons cry out: “We do believe in Jesus.” But is this the Jesus of Scripture?

Biblical Teaching

The twisting of the text is practiced regularly by Mormons. The LDS stands alone in these gratuitous interpretations. The simple fact of the matter is that Scripture as well as Church history provides no support for this absurd teaching; it is the sole product of Mormon mythology. The plain reading of the text can quickly dismantle these Mormon assertions.

If Mormons would take some time to actually read the passages that deals with wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11) then they would see clearly that in verse 2: Jesus and His disciples were invited as guest to the wedding, not His own:

“On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding” (John 1, 2; NIV; emphasis added)

As with other distinctive LDS teachings concerning Jesus, the idea that Jesus was a polygamist is no where to be found in Scripture. Mormons would do well to rely on the Bible rather than the LDS teachers, since the Bible was the oldest revelation?

Notes

1, Cf. Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 392. In LDS theology Jesus was the “Jehovah” (i.e., LORD) of the Old Testament. See the Mormons KJV, sold in the Mormon book stores, under the title Jehovah we read:

Jehovah is the premortal Jesus Christ and came to earth being born of Mary. . . .

Also see, Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:27.