(Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) The founder of the church, Joseph Smith claimed that in the spring of 1820 he had a vision in which he saw God and Jesus Christ. He was told not to join any church but to establish the church of Christ in its fullness.
In September of 1823, the angel Moroni purportedly appeared to Smith in a vision to tell him that a book containing the history of the ancient inhabitants of America was buried in a hill called Cumorah, about four miles from Palmyra, New York.
The next day Smith supposedly found the book. Although not allowed to look at it until 1827, he eventually translated its golden plates. Combined with visions and revelation, its teachings formed the basis for the Book of Mormon.
Smith wrote two other books, Doctrine and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price. Mormons are industrious, hard working, morally upright, temperate people, yet most of their doctrines find little harmony with the Bible.
1. The Bible is the Word of God only as far as it is correctly translated. They believe the Book of Mormon is superior to the Bible because the words are “pure” words.
2. Man pre-existed with God as an immortal soul before being created. One of the reasons for creation was to create bodies for these souls.
3. God was pleased when Adam and Eve sinned because the earth would now be populated.
4. There are immortal souls now living in the Spirit world with Jesus preaching the gospel to them.
5. They must hold baptismal services for the dead in Mormon Temples.
6. Jesus was married to Mary, Martha, and the other Mary at the wedding feast of Cana (Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, p. 259, by Brigham Young). They accept polygamy or multiple marriages where the law of the land permits it.
7. Marriage must be sealed for time and eternity in a Mormon Temple.
8. There are three degrees of heaven—the celestial (for faithful Mormons), the terrestrial (for Mormons not so faithful), and the telestral (for others who will be servants). In essence all humanity will receive eternal life yet some will become servants of others.
Some doctrinal beliefs held in common with Mormons [Seventh-day Adventists & Mormons]
1. Mormons are faithful tithe payers.
2. Mormons are concerned about their health, refraining from alcohol and tobacco.
3. Mormons accept the concept of the Gift of Prophecy in the church today.
4. Mormons believe in baptism by immersion.
5. Mormons accept the idea that he religious bodies today are “fallen Babylon” and Christianity needs a return to the New Testament teachings.
Some major doctrinal misunderstandings of Mormons and Bible texts to meet them
1. The Bible is mistranslated
(See 2 Tim. 3:15,16; John. 17:17; 5:39; Psalms 12:6; 2 Pet. 1:21; Matt. 4:4.)
2. Baptism for the dead: A belief based on a misunderstanding of 1 Corinthians 15:29. In the New Testament baptism is always a personal decision indicating belief in Christ, repentance for sin, and acceptance of Jesus teachings.
(See Acts 2:38-41; Mark 16:16; Matt. 28:19,20.)
In the New Testament, salvation is based on a personal choice. No one can provide that opportunity for another.
(See Rev. 22:17; Psalms 49:7)
In 1 Corinthians 15:29, the apostle Paul is arguing in favor of the resurrection. He thus raises a question. If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for the dead. Paul is not condoning the practice of being baptized for the dead, as evidently some in Corinth were doing. He is simply pointing out that if there is no resurrection, then they (whoever they are) who are baptized for the dead have performed this ceremony in vain. There is no evidence from this passage that Paul was instructing the Corinthians, or anyone else for that matter, to be baptized for the dead.
Looking at Paul’s statement from yet another perspective, in 1 Corinthians 15:19 the Greek word “for” in the passage actually means “in behalf of, or because of.” When Christ returns the dead in Christ will be resurrected and the righteous living caught up with them to meet Jesus in the air (1 Thess. 4:16,17). To be baptized in behalf of or because of the dead is referring to some living person who finally takes the step of baptism (an individual commitment to Christ) because of the godly example and influence of someone who has now passed to their rest in dead. When Jesus comes, the Christian who’s life and example has influenced others to accept Christ and be baptized, even after that Christian died, will now meet those who were saved by his influence.
(See Heb. 11:39,40)
3. Sunday worship: Mormons believe that the first day of the week, Sunday, is called “The Sabbath” eight times in the original Greek Bible. This is based on a total misunderstanding of the word for week which comes from the same root word in the original as the word for Sabbath, but is a different word.
(See Gen. 2:1-3; Ex. 20:8-11; Ezek. 20:20; Luke 4:16; Matt. 24:20; Acts 13:42-44; Luke 6:5; Matt. 12:8; Isa. 66:22,23; Heb. 4:9--Hungarian Bible [marginal reference in the English Bible].)
4. Immortality of the soul: The belief that each individual has an immortal, indestructible soul distinct from the body but which leaves the body at death destined from heaven or hell.
(See 1 Tim. 6:15,16; Gen. 2:7; Gen. 3:19; Eccl. 9:5; Job 27:3; Psalms 146:4; 6:5; 115:17; John 11:11-14.) Remember the Bible uses the word “soul” 1,600 times and never once says “immortal soul.” The Bible calls death a sleep 53 times.
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