The religious body, commonly known as “Mormons,” is officially named “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.” This man-made cult is one of the fastest growing religious bodies in the world. It is also one of the richest. Its members are known for their zeal in converting others. Mormon youth are expected to give two years of service as missionaries. They are supported by their own families while doing this.
The Mormon Church began in Fayette, New York, USA on April 6, 1830. The founder was a young man named Joseph Smith. He claimed two angels appeared to him when he was fourteen years old. They told him not to join any church. A few years later, Smith said an angel led him to a hill where he found gold plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated. Smith said he completed translating them in August, 1829. Joseph Smith also claimed John the Baptist appeared to him and Oliver Cowdery and made them priests after the order of Aaron. Later, Smith and Cowdery said that Peter, James, and John appeared to them and made them priests after the order of Melchizedek. They were also made apostles at the same time, according to their claim.
In 1831, the Mormons moved to Kirtland, Ohio where they built a temple. A group moved farther west to Independence, Missouri. Here, according to Joseph Smith, God had revealed that His temple would be built. The Mormons were forced to leave Independence by local residents who opposed their teaching. They then moved to Nauvoo, Illinois. When Joseph Smith ordered his men to destroy a newspaper print shop because it was owned by his opponents, he and his brother were arrested and put in jail. An angry mob stormed the jail. They shot and killed Joseph Smith.
At Smith’s death, the Mormon movement divided. The main body followed Brigham Young to Utah. Another large group, led by Joseph Smith’s son, remained in Independence. They became known as “The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ.” Recently, they changed their name to “Community of Christ Church.” Several other smaller groups also broke away.
The Mormon Church teaches many false doctrines. They believe the Bible is only one of God’s revelations to mankind. They have their own books which are considered later revelations. These books are: “The Book of Mormon,” “The Doctrine and Covenants,” and “The Pearl of Great Price.” However, the Bible is perfect and complete (1 Corinthians 13:8-10; James 1:25). In it God has given to us “all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). It contains “the faith which once for all was delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). The Bible provides everything we need to serve God and please Him (2 Timothy 3:16,17). God has warned us that we must not believe another Gospel even if it is brought to us by an angel (Galatians 1:6-9). We must not add to the Word of God (Revelation 22:18,19).
The Mormon Church has a wrong understanding of God. We must believe in the true God in order to be saved (Ephesians 4:4-6; Hebrews 11:6). The Bible teaches there is only one true God (1 Timothy 2:5; James 2:19). Mormons, however, believe in many gods. They believe Adam was the god who created the earth. They believe every man can become a god. This is contrary to the teaching of the Bible that “God is Spirit” (John 4:24).
Mormons believe the priesthood of Aaron continues to this day. The Bible teaches that the priesthood has been changed (Hebrews 7:12). Today, Jesus Christ is the Christians’ high priest (Hebrews 4:14-16). Jesus is “a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 7:14-21). Mormons believe men can become priests “after the order of Melchizedek.”According to the Bible, only Jesus Christ can be such a priest.
Mormons believe one man can have many wives. They do not practice polygamy publicly any longer because it is against the law in many nations. While God permitted polygamy and divorce in the Old Testament, it was not a part of His original plan (Matthew 19:3-9). Jesus restored God’s original plan which is “one man, one wife – for life!” God’s plan for marriage today is for “each man to have his own wife” (1 Corinthians 7:2).
Mormons also practice “baptism for the dead.” They believe one can be baptized on behalf of another person who has died. The Bible teaches man must obey for himself. Each one must hear the Gospel for himself (Romans 10:17; Acts 18:8). Each one must believe for himself (John 8:24). Each must repent of his own sins before he can be baptized (Acts 2:38). Each person must confess Christ for himself to be saved (Matthew 10:32,33). One cannot hear, believe, repent or confess on behalf of another person. Neither can one be baptized on behalf of another (Mark 16:16; Acts 8:12). When one has died, it is too late for him to obey the Lord (Hebrews 9:27). There is no second chance after death.
There are many other false teachings of the Mormon Church. The Mormon Church is not the true church of the Bible! It is a cult founded by a man. It teaches false doctrines which will cause one to be lost (Galatians 1:6-9; Matthew 7:15-23).
Mormons claim an angel led them to an “additional gospel.” God has warned us of such false teachers: “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8). Mormons are accursed because they preach “another Gospel.” They must obey the true Gospel in order to be saved (Hebrews 5:8,9; Romans 1:16).
How to Identify the One True Church:
1. Know what the One True Church is –
A. The word “church” comes from the Greek word which means those who are “called out.”
B. The church is the Body of Christ (Colossians 1:18)
C. The church is the Bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:22-27)
D. The church is the Family of God (I Timothy 3:15)
E. The church is the Pillar and Ground of Truth (I Timothy 3:15)
2. Know the Founder of the One True Church –
A. Jesus promised to build HIS church Matthew 16:18)
B. Jesus purchased the church with HIS blood ( Acts 20:28)
C. Jesus is the head of the church (Colossians 1:18)
D. The church is His spiritual body (Colossians 1:18)
3. Know when the One True Church began –
A. It was promised in the last days of Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:2-4)
B. The church was near in John’s day (Matthew 3:1,2)
C. Jesus told His disciples that they should not taste of death till
they see the kingdom of God come with power (Mark 9:1)
D. They were told that they would receive that power when the
Holy Spirit came upon them (Acts 1:8)
E. All these things came to pass on Pentecost (Acts 2)
4. Know how the One True Church is described –
A. The church of the Lord (Acts 20:28)
B. The church of God (I Corinthians 1:1,2)
C. The body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12)
D. The church of Christ (Romans 16:16)
5. Know what God offers in the One True Church –
A. Forgiveness of sins is in the church (Ephesians 1:17)
B. Salvation is in the church (2 Timothy 2:10)
C. Redemption is in the church (Colossians 1:14)
D. All spiritual blessings are in the church (Ephesians 1:3)
E. The saved are in the church (Acts 2:47)