Mormonism, probably the most successful cult in the United States, and perhaps the world. Also known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS), has a worldwide population of 12 million members as of 2005.
I could write a dozen pages on the Mormon Church, but I will try and write about the basics and the differences between Mormon and biblical churches.
Mormonism started when a 14 years old boy named Joseph Smith Jr. had a vision in which two personages-whom he believed to be the Father and the Son-appeared to him. Smith asked these figures which religion he should become and they both told him none of them cause they were all wrong and corrupt.
3 years later, he saw an the angel Moroni who told him of a book written on gold plates that contain "the fullness of everlasting life gospel". 4 years later, Smith dug up the plates and began translating their "Reformed Egyptian" writing with the help of two special stones called "Urim" and "Thummim".
As Smith translated the plates, he sat behind a curtain, gazing into a hat, supposedly reading lines of the book of Mormom as they appeared on "seer stones" and dictating each line to a scribe outside the curtain. We should note, Smith was known hunter for buried treasure with the aid of seer stones. Smith used practices called "scrying" used a lot in occult practices and witchcraft.
In 1830 the Book of Mormom (BOM) was published and the Mormon Church was established.
Smith claimed the BOM was the most complete book on Earth, but he added 13 Mormon doctrines that are not in the BOM. Some of these are:
Plurality of Gods (Polytheism)
God as an exalted man
Human beings ability to become a God
Eternal progression, and baptism for the dead.
Smith also made numerous prophesies that never came true, making him a false prophet.
Their view of God is that the Heavenly Father is really and exalted man. He is one of a "species" that Mormons call "gods". These Gods existed before the Father who rules Earth today. They think God is not the eternal creator, the first cause of everything. He was created by another God and so on and so on, ad infinitum.
When God had children, his firstborn was Jesus Christ, followed by Lucifer, who they say was Jesus' brother. When Jesus was chosen to be savior, Satan rebelled, fought against the armies of Heaven, led by Michael the Archangel, and lost. He was cast to earth condemned to live as a spirit. Jesus used eternal matter to create the earth with all its animals and humans including Adam and Eve.
When Jesus came to earth from the spirit world to become savior, he was born of Mary but not conceived by the Holy Spirit as the bible teaches. They teach God came to earth in the human form and had sexual intercourse with Mary to conceive Jesus.
Some major differences between them and biblical christianity:
Regarding God and the trinity, Mormons believe God has a body of flesh and bones like man. They teach Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit are 3 distinct personages and 3 Gods. Of course the God of the Bible is One God in three Persons.
Regarding Sin and Salvation, Mormons teach that general salvation is all men are saved by grace alone but full salvation comes only through the LDS church. Christians believe salvation through Jesus Christ and being Born Again.
Regarding Heaven, Mormons teach in three levels of Heaven, telestial, terrestrial or celestial. Celestial is only for Mormons. Christian Heaven is the home for all believers in Christ's full atonement for sins.
Mormons say they believe in Jesus, which they do, but in very unbiblical views. Mormons claim to believe in the Bible but not as Gods word. The BOM is what they use as the truth. Any religion that does not follow the Bible is a cult. No matter how you look at it, unbiblical views of God and more importantly, salvation, is a large concern and they should be prayed for to understand the one true creator and savior for true salvation.
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