Christianity vs Mormonism
Mormonism and Christanity are both Abrahamic religions. Historically, although Mormons consider themselves to be Christians, Mormonism has had an uneasy relationship with traditional Christianity 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.
|Improve this chart||Christianity||Mormonism|
|Founder:||Jesus Christ||Jesus Christ restored the church that he created anciently by revelation to Joseph Smith both directly (as in the first vision) and through Angels and the Book of Mormon.|
|Practices:||Prayers, Sacraments, worshipping in Church, reading the Holy Bible, acts of charity. Communion-partaking in the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, under the appearance of Bread and Wine.||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.|
|Clergy:||Priests, monks, nuns, ministers, & bishops, and deacons. Pastors and some churches Board of Elders||Most "worthy" male members hold priesthood offices. Some are called to preside over wards, stakes, and areas. Missionaries mostly support themselves. Only a few whose full time job it is to administer to the affairs of the Church are paid|
|Place of origin:||Jerusalem||Upstate New York|
|Place of worship:||Church, Chapel, Cathedral, basilica.||Church, Chapel or Temple for organized worship, though in extremis, any place where two followers of Christ gather together.|
|Literal Meaning:||Christian: Meaning "Follower of Christ"||Mormon was an ancient prophet who compiled over a millennium of sacred records into the plates from which "The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ" was translated.|
|Concept of Deity:||Believe in the Trinity. Three persons in one Godhead: Father, Son and Holy Spirit||Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three distinct beings who are "one in purpose". Deity is an exalted state which man may achieve through faith, righteous obedience to God's law, and repentance upon sinning.|
|Use of statues and pictures:||Used in Catholic & Orthodox Christianity; statues are not used in most Protestant denominations. Statues are not worshiped but may help us focus on prayer and meditation.||Idols are not accepted, Depictions of the life of Christ and other saints are acceptable. Art for representation of a story not for idolatry.|
|Life after death:||Man is appointed to die once, and after that come judgment. Those that are redeemed, live on in Heaven, those that rejected God suffer for eternity in Hell. Catholics believe souls that need purification before entering Heaven will go to Purgatory||All have been gifted immortality through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Righteous to spirit paradise and wicked to spirit prison. Salvation possible after death. Final destination decided after the Millennium.|
|Status of women:||They can become nuns in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches and can be priests to Protestant churches. For the most part, women are equal to men in modern-day society. The Bible makes clear that men and women have different roles but are not inferior.||In the Church, men hold priesthood keys. In the home and eternity the blessings of the priesthood are available to men and women alike. Women highly respected and valued.|
|Branches:||Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox.||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).|
|Angels:||Angels are God's messengers.||Angels are God's messengers. Angels are also demonic spirits. Not all angels are good. (1 John 4:1). Some Angels are righteous resurrected beings who previously lived on the earth since the creation.|
|Geographical distribution and predominance:||Worldwide. Africa, Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia.||While the majority of Latter-day Saints are located in The United States, and 11.5 Million are found in the Western Hemisphere, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a worldwide religion, with organized congregations on six continents.|
|Time of origin:||Approx. 33 AD.||1820's|
|Goal of religion:||To love God and obey his commandments. To gain a relationship with Jesus Christ, live forever with Christ, spread the good word of God.||Gain salvation, love one another, serve, keep the commandments, find happiness.|
|Scriptures:||Holy Bible, a collection of canonical books in two parts (the Old Testament and the New Testament), varies in the old(depending on if its a Protestant, Catholic, or Orthodox)Bible, and 27 in the new testament.||All scriptures are good for learning. The Holy Bible is scripture insofar as it is correctly translated. The Book of Mormon is most complete; the Doctrine and Covenants & Pearl of Great Price are worthy books. Apocrypha can be useful for learning.|
|About:||Following Jesus Christ.||The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon). momon.org for more information.|
|Population:||2.4 Billion includes Catholics, Protestants, and all other Christians.||13.8 million|
|Second coming of Jesus:||Affirmed, No one knows the date of return not even Jesus, only the Father||Affirmed. No one knows when he will return.|
|Identity of Jesus:||Son of the Living God, and Saviour of the world, and 2nd person of the Godhead.||Jesus is the eldest of Heavenly Father's spirit children. He is the Son of God, the Lord of all and the Savior of all who believe in Him and truly repent, or turn from, their sins.|
|Principle:||God created man. Man sinned and fell under its curse. God redeems sinful man through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Those that He redeems, He regenerates and they become "born-again".||Before this world was created there was a council in heaven where Satan and Jesus Christ proposed opposing plans. In Christ's plan, which was the same as Heavenly Father's, man would sin & a savior (Christ) was needed to atone for our sins.|
|Belief:||Belief in one God, the Father Almighty, God the Son is Jesus, our Lord and Savior. After his death and Resurrection God the Holy Spirit came down to Earth and remains with us.||Believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior; and receiving Eternal Salvation from him and our Heavenly Father. All are immortal and existed before this life. Some chose to come to this world to be tested.|
|Status of Adam:||Adam was the first man created by God. He fell into temptation and brought sin and death to the human race.||Adam, the same person as the angel Michael, along with Eve made life possible for all mankind through their transgression in the Garden of Eden, which made Christ's sacrifice necessary for all men.|
|Belief of God:||God is the Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Holy, Just, Loving Creator of the Universe. Oneness of God in the form of the Holy Trinity.||As is made plain in the scriptures, Heavenly Father has a body of flesh and bone. He was once a man like us but ascended to godhood through the laws and ordinances of the gospel, which we can do.|
|Death of Jesus:||Death by Crucifixion, Resurrection, and the Ascent to Heaven||Death by crucifixion followed by resurrection and continued ministry among his followers in Judea and the New World.|
|Holy days:||Sunday is the Lord's Day, Good Friday, Easter, and Christmas.||Sunday (Day of rest), Easter, Christmas, celebrations of events in Mormon history|
|Means of salvation:||Through Christ's Death, and Resurrection.||Faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism by immersion, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands and enduring to the end with steadfast faith in Jesus Christ|
|Promised Holy one.:||Christ both the First & Second Comings.||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.|
|Birth of Jesus:||Virgin Birth, through the Father.||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.|
|Definition:||Follower of the Christ||A member of the true restored Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith in the 19th century after centuries of apostasy.|
|Human Nature:||Man has inherited "original sin" from Adam. Mankind then is inherently evil and is in need of forgiveness of their sin. By given the knowledge of right and wrong we choose our actions. We pray that the Holy Spirit strengthens us to avoid sin.||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.|
|View of Abrahamic religions:||Judaism is incomplete without the Messiah; Both Islam and Baha'i are wrong to believe in men that are greater than the Messiah||The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints acknowledge that Jews and Muslims worship our Heavenly Father, though their worship is incomplete without acknowledging the true role of Jesus Christ as the Messiah and without priesthood authority.|
|Views on other religion:||God has provided one way for men to become right with Him, and that way is through Jesus Christ. All other religions are vain and futile attempts to win favor with God and are thus false.||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.|
|Prophets:||http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prophets_of_Christianity||The gift of prophecy may be granted to any believer. God has called specific prophets, seers, and revelators to guide the Church today, as in ancient times. There is one man called the prophet of the church who holds all keys of priesthood authority|
|Rites:||Christian rites comprises the way all services for the worship of God are performed, including the 7 Sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the sick, Holy Orders, Matrimony.||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.|
|Prophet:||Moses, Abraham, John the Baptist, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekial, Nahum, Elijah, Elisha, Obadiah, Amos, Hosea, Zechariah, Zephaniah, Malachi, Daniel, Nathan, and many others||A prophet is anyone with a testimony of Jesus Christ by the Holy Ghost, as in Num. 11:25–29; Rev. 19:10. God does call specific Prophets to call the people to repentance and reveal his will. There is a prophet on the earth today, in the LDS church.|
|Clothes:||No Prohibitions, except in some sects||Temple Endowed men and women wear the garments of the holy priesthood. All are counseled to dress chastely. Those attending church services are encouraged to wear "Sunday best" to show respect.|
|Marriage:||Monogamistic: "And two shall become one". One man and one woman are united under God in the holy sacrament of Matrimony. In Heaven, marriage does not exist.||Mormon canon called the Doctorine and Covenants section 132; the prophet revealed polygamy was the will of God. Not in practice anymore, will be excommunicated if you practice polygamy. Eternal marriage between man and woman in the temple.|
|View of other Abrahamic religions:||According to Christian doctrine, Judaism is a true religion, but with incomplete revelation (incomplete without the Messiah).||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.|
|God's role in salvation:||Salvation is a completely free gift from the Lord and comes by grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ only. This faith is demonstrated thorugh accepting his message of selfless compassion and producing good works in keeping with repentance.||All men 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.|
|Praying to Saints,Mary, and Angel:||Catholics, Orthodox, and Anglican Christians ask for the intercession of Mary, the Saints, and the angels. Most Protestants choose to pray directly to God.||Pray to God, the Eternal Father|
|Geographical predominance:||Christianity has spread worldwide across all six settled continents, predominantly Europe, North, Central, and South America, Australia, and New Zealand||Is found in over 162 countries throughout North, Central and South America; Europe; Asia; Africa; and Oceania.|
|Views on the afterlife:||Eternal life in Heaven or Hell.||Spirit Paradise or Prison for the righteous and unrighteous immediately after death. Christ's gospel preached among the prisoners and repentance possible there. Eventually, one of three kingdoms of heaven or outer darkness (very rare to go to).|
|Confessing sins:||Catholic & Orthodox Christians confess their sins to the priest, in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Most Protestants do not believe in the Sacrament of Confession.||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.|
|Religious Law:||Christians no longer live under the curse of the law but under grace. We are still expected to live by the 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.|
|View of God:||One God: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (three persons in One God, known as the Holy Trinity).||The LDS faith believes in the Godhead. God, his son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.|
|Holy days/Official Holidays:||Christmas (birth of Jesus), Good Friday (death of Jesus for our sins), Sunday (day of rest) Easter (resurrection of Jesus).||Sunday (The Lord's Day), Christmas, Easter.|
|Resurrection of Jesus:||Affirmed.||Affirmed|
|View of other Dharmic religions:||All religions outside of belief in Christ's death and resurrection for our sins are false.||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|
|Days or Times of worship:||Any time; Sunday is traditionally the day of worship in a group setting at church.||Worship should continue throughout the week through prayer and scripture study. Sunday is the Sabbath Day, the Lord's day of rest.|
|Original Language(s):||Aramaic, Greek, & Hebrew||During Christ's time: Aramaic, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Reformed Egyptian (the name of the characters the Book of Mormon was written in). In the Latter Days: English|
|Virtue in which religion is based upon:||Selfless love.||Love|
|Abrahamic Lineage:||Through Isaac & Jacob, because they are Christ's Ancestors(& also because of Isaac's near-sacrifice prefigured Christ's Own Sacrifice).||Isaac and Jacob. Members of the Church who receive a Patriarchal Blessing (available to all) have it revealed to them which tribe of Israel they are adopted into or have actual blood lineage from.|
|Offshoot religions:||Rastafarianism, Unitarian Universalism, and Deism.||Community of Christ, Church of Christ, Church of Jesus Christ, Apostolic United Brethren, Fundamentalist LDS, Restored LDS.|
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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