Mormonism vs. Christianity

Christianity
Mormonism

Are Mormons Christians?

Mormons consider themselves to be Christians but Mormonism has historically had an uneasy relationship with traditional Christianity and its branches such as the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, and most branches of Protestantism. This is primarily due to the fact that adherents to Mormonism claim that the movement is a "restoration" of the earliest Christian and Judaic doctrines. Mormonism is considered to have branched from Christianity itself but differs on their status of God and their beliefs.

According to the Latter Day Saints (Mormons), Mormonism and Christianity are identical; Mormonism restores and perfects Christianity. However, traditional Christianity regards Mormonism as a departure from Christianity, or a corruption of it.
Since its beginning in the 1820s, the Latter Day Saint movement has proclaimed itself to be Christianity restored to its original authority, structure and power; teaching that the existing denominations "were believing in incorrect doctrines, and that none of them was acknowledged of God as his church and kingdom", and "all their creeds were an abomination in his sight." Since that time, Mormonism and mainstream Christianity have both found much to admire in one another's history and manner of life; but their conflicting doctrines and claims of authority have been the cause of deadly conflicts in the past and still generate dismissive criticism from both sides today.

Comparison chart

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Christianity

Christianity

Mormonism

Place of worship Church, chapel, cathedral, basilica, home bible study, personal dwellings. Church, Chapel or Temple for organized worship, though in extremis, any place where two followers of Christ gather together.
Place of origin Roman province of Judea. Upstate New York
Practices Prayer, sacraments (some branches), worship in church, reading of the Bible, acts of charity, communion. Baptism, partaking of Sacrament at weekly church meetings, tithing, temple marriage & baptism for the dead. Personal & family prayer & scripture study, Family home evening. Following the teachings of modern prophets such as Thomas S. Monson.
Time of origin Approx. 33 AD. 1820's
About Christianity broadly consists of individuals who believe in the deity Jesus Christ. Its followers, called Christians, often believe Christ is "the Son" of the Holy Trinity and walked the earth as the incarnate form of God ("the Father"). The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon). momon.org for more information.
Religious Law Has existed among Catholics in the form of canon law. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is necessary but not sufficient for salvation. Christ said those who loved him would follow his commandments. Accordingly, we must follow God's laws, such as the Word of Wisdom, Law of Chastity etc.
Confessing sins Protestants confess straight to God, Catholic confess mortal sins to a Priest, and venial sins straight to God (Orthodox have similar practice) Anglicans confess to Priests but considered optional. God always forgives sins in Jesus. To God, usually, though public confession is also seen as sometimes needed (as in John 20). Confession of serious sins such as sexual sins and sins for which guidance through the repentance process is needful is to one's bishop or stake president.
Holy Days Christmas (celebration of the birth of Jesus), Good Friday (death of Jesus), Sunday (day of rest), Easter (resurrection of Jesus), Lent (Catholicism), saints' feast days. Sunday (Day of rest), Easter, Christmas, celebrations of events in Mormon history
Human Nature Man has inherited "original sin" from Adam. Mankind then is inherently evil and is in need of forgiveness of sin. By knowing right and wrong Christians choose their actions. Humans are a fallen, broken race in need of salvation and repair by God. Man has the potential for good or evil and he chooses which to pursue. He who chooses evil can be enslaved to sin but is set free by coming to Christ.
Birth of Jesus Virgin Birth, through God. Jesus was the Only Begotten Son of our Heavenly Father in the flesh—the only child whose mortal body was begotten by our Heavenly Father. His mortal mother, Mary, was called a virgin, both before and after she gave birth.
Branches Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (mainline church does not sanction the existence or beliefs of offshoots listed elsewhere on this chart).
Rites Seven sacraments: Baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, penance, anointing of the sick, holy orders, matrimony (Catholic and Orthodox). Anglicans: Baptism and Eucharist. Other denominations: Baptism and communion. Ordinances include baptism, confirmation (receiving the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands), ordination to the Melchizedek Priesthood (for men), the temple endowment, and the marriage sealing.
Death of Jesus Death by crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension to heaven. Will return. Death by crucifixion followed by resurrection and continued ministry among his followers in Judea and the New World.
Goal of religion To love God and obey his commandments while creating a relationship with Jesus Christ and spreading the Gospel so that others may also be saved. Learn of one's true purpose on Earth, Gain salvation, love one another, serve, keep the commandments, find happiness.
God's role in salvation Humans cannot save themselves or ascend on their own to a higher level. Only God is good and therefore only God is able to save a person. Jesus came down from Heaven to save mankind. All will be resurrected through the perfect sacrifice of Christ. All who choose to follow him will gain life eternal, which is life in the presence of God. Exaltation to a higher state is dependent on following God's law including ordinances.
Promised Holy one. Second Coming of Christ The Lord Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah of Old Testament prophecy; He will come again at the end of time to fulfill Old and New Testament prophecy. He has restored his church to the earth today through the prophet Joseph Smith.
Offshoot religions Rastafarianism,Universalism, and Deism, and Masonry. Community of Christ, Church of Christ, Church of Jesus Christ, Apostolic United Brethren, Fundamentalist LDS, Restored LDS.
View of other Abrahamic religions Judaism is regarded as a True religion but incomplete (without Gospel, and Messiah) Islam is regarded as a false religion, Christianity does not accept the Qur'an as true. The LDS Church carries the fulness of the gospel and God's authority on earth. All other religions stem from God's true church and teach many true principles and promote good values but don't have the fullness of the gospel.
Legislation Varies through denomination. As in ancient times when his 12 apostles regulated the affairs of the church, in the restored church there is an order to the authority he has given to men to act in his name, beginning with the First Presidency and 12 apostles.
Resurrection of Jesus Affirmed Affirmed
View of God N/A The LDS faith believes in God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ and in the Holy Ghost as separate beings of which the Father and the Son have glorified physical bodies and the Holy Ghost is a spirit in the likeness of a man.
Views on other religion Christianity is the True Faith. Mormons believe they have a corner on all truth. They believe that while nearly all denominations contain a lot of truth, that the LDS faith is the only one with full truth. Everyone will be given an opportunity for salvation.
View of other Dharmic religions N/A Abrahamic religion. Mormons believe they have a corner on all truth. They believe that while nearly all denominations contain a lot of truth, that the LDS faith is the only one with full truth. Anyone can obtain salvation no matter what faith you are
Praying to Saints,Mary, and Angel Affirmed, in Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, & Anglican(Episcopalian)Christianity; most Protestants do not. Pray only to God (The Father) in Jesus' name.

Contents: Mormonism vs Christianity

edit Differences in Origin

Christianity began in 1st century AD Jerusalem as a Jewish sect and spread throughout the Roman Empire and beyond to countries such as Ethiopia, Armenia, Georgia, Assyria, Iran, India, and China. The first known usage of the term Christians can be found in the New Testament of the Bible. The term was thus first used to denote those known or perceived to be disciples of Jesus.

Mormonism was founded by Joseph Smith in 1830 in Fayette, USA when he refused to join the Christian church. He stated that God, in a theophany (or "First Vision"), had indicated to him that all other Christian churches were in a state of apostasy and that he was to join none of them. In March 1830 the Book of Mormon was published, which Joseph Smith said was scripture that he had translated by divine power from buried golden plates delivered to him by an angel. It professed to recount a history of the Lord's dealings with some of the ancient inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere, including a description of their civilizations. The most significant part of this history is the appearance of Jesus after his resurrection.

Smith, along with five associates, formed the Church of Jesus Christ according to New York State law at the time. He indicated that he was directed by God the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ, to restore the fullness of the Gospel because Christian churches had lost essential doctrines and priesthood authority that could not be recovered without a restoration.

edit Differences in Beliefs

The core, distinguishing Latter Day Saint belief is that Joseph Smith, Jr. was a prophet who, like Moses, received revelation and scripture from God. The first such revelation recorded by Smith stated that the original apostolic church was lost after a "Great Apostasy" in the early church. Smith claimed subsequent revelations instructed him to organize the restored church of Jesus Christ and carry it to all the earth. Today, Latter Day Saints (sometimes referred to as Mormons) believe their church has the same authority as the church established by Jesus Christ, that successor Apostles are also prophets, and that revelation is on-going.

This contrasts with trinitarian Churches, who believe that their doctrines are thoroughly consistent with those taught by Jesus Christ and his Apostles. Traditional Christianity holds that the scriptural canon is closed, and that this kind of active revelation ceased with the end of the Apostolic Age. In accordance with their historic creeds, Mormonism is deemed a corrupted form of Christianity, or Christian in only a nominal or cultural sense. Their apologists argue that the beliefs unique to the LDS are incompatible with the Bible and unsupportable from either tradition or history.

The Mormons believe in modern prophets, beginning with Joseph Smith, Jr., and continuing today with Thomas S Monson. Mormons believe in God the Father, the Son (Christ), and the Holy Ghost existing as three separate individual beings or personages while the Christians regard Christ as immortal and believe in the Trinity. Mormons, like mainstream Christians, also believe that Jesus Christ is the essential path for salvation. They also believe in a form of theosis called exaltation or eternal progression, which states that man can achieve Godhood and that God didn't just make man in His image but that God was a man who became exalted, and that men, angels and God are part of the same species.

edit Christian vs Mormon Practices

Christians believe that all people should strive to follow Christ's commands and example in their everyday actions. For many, this includes obedience to the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament. Other Christian practices include acts of piety such as prayer and Bible reading. Christians assemble for communal worship on Sunday, the day of the resurrection, though other liturgical practices often occur outside this setting. Scripture readings are drawn from the Old and New Testaments, but especially the Gospels.

Mormons wear ceremonial temple garments under their daily clothes and perform baptisms for the dead, and other ordinances by proxy, in temples and doing attendant genealogical research. A dietary code called the Word of Wisdom, currently requiring abstinence from alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea, and illegal drugs; caffeinated soft drinks are left to individual discretion. Virtually all Christians hold special ceremonies or rites, often called sacraments. The Mormons call these ceremonies ordinances. The three main ordinances practices by Mormons are Baptism, Confirmation, Sacraments, Endowments and Sealings. While Mormons are expected to confess their sins directly to God as repentance, some Christians (Catholics) confess their sins to a priest.

Mormons do not accept the baptisms by other Christian denominations as valid. They point to Acts 19:1-7 where Paul rebaptized some prophesing Christians as evidence that the proper authority is necessary. Most denominations of Christianity reject Mormon claims of additional scriptures, and of the prophetic office of Joseph Smith and other Mormon leaders; they disagree with Mormon claims that they have committed apostasy. Doctrines such as the beliefs about early American civilizations, which are unique to Mormon theology and not found in the teachings of mainstream Christian churches are also causes of disagreement. Nonetheless, many Christian denominations treat Mormons with respect, while not minimizing the differences in belief.

edit Hierarchy in Mormonism vs traditional Christianity

In Mormonism the hierarchy of authority begins with Jesus Christ himself and continues to the Presidency of the Church. The President of the Church is the highest ecclesiastical authority on the Earth and is often referred to as "the Prophet." He, along with his counselors and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, are believed to have direct communication with Jesus Christ and are often referred to as "special witnesses" of Christ because of this close relationship with Him.  The Prophet is assisted by two counselors, who together with him form the "First Presidency" of the Church. The Presidency, along with the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, which have equal authority, unitedly lead the church. These leaders are considered to be prophets, seers, and revelators. No decision is made for the Church as a whole without absolute unanimity on the part of these 15 men.

In Christianity, with Jesus Christ as Son of God, the hierarchy consists of priests, ministers, pastors and bishops.

edit Differences in Scriptures

Christianity regards the Holy Bible, a collection of canonical books in two parts (the Old Testament and the New Testament) as authoritative: written by human authors under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and therefore the inerrant Word of God.

Mormons accept the Bible, the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price as works of scripture.

edit Mormon vs Christian Demographics

Data suggest that there are around 1.8 billion Christians in the world while there are approxmately 15 million Mormons worldwide.

edit Geographical distribution

Christianity is the world's largest religion. It is the predominant religion in Europe, the Americas, Southern Africa, the Philippines and Oceania. It is also growing rapidly in Africa and Asia, particularly in China, South Korea and the Middle East. It is declining in other countries including Australia, Great Britain, France and Germany. On the other hand, Mormonism is concentrated mainly in the USA, Latin America, Canada,Philippines and England. It has very less of a presence in  China and the middle east. There is believed to be over 14 million members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints worldwide as of 2012.

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Comments: Christianity vs Mormonism

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Anonymous comments (16)

February 10, 2012, 12:14am

Dear 207.233.32.17,
If you are considering a major change in your religious beliefs, I would suggest you do it for yourself, not anybody else. Research and pray, your heart will tell you what to do. If you find that you are content with where you stand with God, discuss this with your girlfriend. If she loves you, she should respect that your beliefs may differ from hers, and that's okay. Religion should not determine weather a relationship should or shouldn't work. Love determines that. A loving relationship requires compromise on both halves. You have to ask each other what's really important to you. If she can not accept you for who you are, there is someone out there who will love every part of you, without trying to change a thing about you.
Sincerely,
Happy in Love & Life

— 24.✗.✗.45
1

January 23, 2014, 7:01pm

Revelations 22: 18-19

18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

We don't need any other book than The Holy Bible! The Plagues await...

— 184.✗.✗.210
0

October 14, 2013, 11:52pm

@205.✗.✗.254 on 2013-04-01 16:42:50

There are many references to you claim the Bible contradicts itself. Wow too many to list. When Critics Ask (A Handbook on Bible Difficulties) by Gene Geisler is a good start.

Here is an excerpt from the book F. F. Bruce, The Canon of Scripture in regard to the Book of Tobit. Talk about contradictions and errors. There are always two sides to a coin
------
Many have highlighted a few historical and theological errors in Tobit. First, Tobit 1:15 incorrectly notes that Sennacherib was Shalmaneser’s son, rather than the son of Sargon II. Also, Tobit seems to imply that he was alive during the reign of Jeroboam I (about 930 B.C.), but at his death he was reported to be 117 years old. Theologically, Tobit asserts that almsgiving alone “will save you from death,” not, as Paul states in Galatians 2:15, that man is justified (saved) “by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.” And Jesus, in John 3:16, says that “whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Faith alone, therefore, not works or observing the Law, provides salvation.

— 74.✗.✗.135
0

September 2, 2013, 6:24am

Joseph Smith was obviously hallucinating when he met the angel..

— 216.✗.✗.129
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June 20, 2013, 2:24pm

The Bible didn't come first, portions were written at the same time and parts of the New Testament were written after the Book of Mormon was completed.

— 174.✗.✗.104
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May 25, 2013, 4:46pm

You're telling me that a religion formed less than 200 years ago by a pot smoking polygamist in New York is a religion to follow. Believe in the Bible and our lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

— 108.✗.✗.110
0

April 1, 2013, 4:42pm

some of these comments are hilarious.

There should not be one contradiction between the bible and BoM or else it is false? Can we hold the bible to that same test? It contradicts itself over and over. It was written by many different people. Then the catholic church added scriptures to it too that cannot be found in any original manuscript, like in 1st John 5:7. The 4 gospels cant get events in the same order or even happening the same way. Face it, the bible has a lot of errors. If you haven't seen them., then you have never read it before.

The BoM is simply more writings from prophets that persuade men to follow Christ. Pure and simple. There are books back in Christ's time that were considered scripture that are not in the "christian" bible today, like the book of Tobit and several others. I can't believe how many people are out there that dont read the bible for themselves, have never even cracked it, and then claim its soooo important and the only way to Christ. Well, your actions dont back up you words. Open it up if its so important and read it. You might be surprised what you learn.

— 205.✗.✗.254
0

February 23, 2013, 6:14am

If the Mormons believe the Bible is the Word of God, and the Bible came before the Book of Mormon, then the Book of Mormon should not contradict the Bible. If there is even one contradiction between the two books, then it is logical to conclude that one of the books' is erred. You then deduce that, since the Bible came first, and is also considered to be objectively true by Mormons, then any revelation received afterward, would have to be judged by the same standards they used to judge the Bible. If that new revelation violated the standard by which the Bible was tested, then you can discount it as being inspired by a sovereign God and, thus, it is erred. Therefore, since the Book of Mormon does in fact contradict the Bible, it is my contention that it is not the inspired Word of God. Not only is it not inspired or inerrant, it is heretical doctrine. The other alternative a Mormon has is to dismiss the Bible, yet this is impractical, because the Book of Mormon is loosely based on the Bible. Even if Mormons dismissed the Bible entirely, from what would the book of Mormon be based? Therefore, I believe Mormonism to be self-defeating in nature. All you have to do is compare the Bible to the Book of Mormon, and you will see that the Book of Mormons’ teachings differ from the Bibles’ teachings. Therefore, Mormons have faith in a corrupted doctrine. Although their religion contains some degree of truth, it is fundamentally all corrupted, because they have adopted too many lies into their belief system. The Bible is not the Bible, if it is mixed with heretical doctrine. Forgive me for this poor analogy, but I would compare it to mixing the movies “The Wizard of Oz” & “Titanic” together. You would have a new movie altogether. You could not call the final product “The Wizard of Oz” or “Titanic”, but, rather, you would have a different movie. The same is true with Mormonism; it is not the same as Christianity, but something different entirely, regardless of what Mormons believe.


Respectfully,
V.

— 173.✗.✗.86
0

December 30, 2012, 5:58pm

To the guy who is worried about dating his Catholic girlfriend- there is no need to worry! Catholics are ALWAYS Christians! If someone is not Christian, there is no way they are Catholic.

— 166.✗.✗.146
0

November 6, 2012, 12:05am

The book wasn't written in 1820 ad it was translated in 1820. The book was written before, during and after christs time

— 128.✗.✗.23
0

October 7, 2012, 8:16pm

I really feel I would rather believe a book written in 33 ad vs 1820's. I have a hard time understanding one, who some 1800 years later places himself on the same level as Moses. I do not want to be disrespectful, but I also have had dreams and feel that I was told, thru stories, on what to do. After waking up I realized it must have been the mexican dinner the night before. As for me I will stick with the bible, all 66 chapters and add & subtract nothing to it. Just my feelings.

— 71.✗.✗.240
0

September 30, 2012, 4:45pm

How can the Mormon church lie when it uses the same text that christians use? yes they have other texts that they teach from but the foundation is the bible. sorry for everyone who thinks that there is only one way to god...you live your lifes in a stupor and degrade anyone of a different faith (wait that is a sin as well) remember love thy neighbor?

— 24.✗.✗.70
0

June 17, 2012, 5:49pm

I am sorry for each of you. All religion that leads a person to a better life and in the belief and teachings of God and his Son Jesus Christ and with love and charity to all other human beings is good. You claim to be Christian and live by the word of God and yet you will publicly tell others they will go to hell if they do not join you in your place of worship. I am sorry for you.

— 24.✗.✗.27
0

May 2, 2012, 12:32am

This wasn't by a Non-Mormon Christian either. We don't believe that Jesus had to die for us because of Adam's sins. Adam and Eve kind of sacrificial the innocence of humans by choosing the gift of knowing right from wrong over blissful purity. Our sins were pointed out to us and so we are now responsible for consciously sinning; All humans sin even if it's just once. This is why Jesus came to us. To offer us a very simple way from our past and future sins.

— 173.✗.✗.114
0

April 6, 2012, 12:28am

This was obviously written by an fundamentalist Christian with a severe bias against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It is full to bursting with half-truths and omissions.

— 71.✗.✗.28
0

March 11, 2012, 12:12pm

Hello my brothers and sisters.... I am a black 17 year old adopted ex Mormon trying to convert myself, my younger sister, and my 20 year old homosexual brother to christianity. My younger sister is 14 and she has no idea about the lies the LDS church and I have tried to show her but she doesn't listen to me and my brother believes that he is already going to hell and that he will never be saved. I really need help I don't know what to tell either of them, or how to try show them the truth. Any advise?? Sincerely, Eternally Confused :/

— 67.✗.✗.119
0

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