The Jesus of Christianity Compared to the Jesus of Mormonism

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(Editor: Mormonism is NOT Christian. It is NOT part of the Christian Church but is a cult, a product of the Deceiver, Satan. Remember – same words do NOT necessarily mean same beliefs, but can often hide horrendous blasphemies! Please note that our own preferred Bible is the KJAV).

When a Mormon tells you “I believe Jesus died for my sins, too” he is not talking about the Biblical Jesus but the Mormon Jesus; two different beings and two different religions. This is not my opinion, it is the view of prominent Mormon leaders, aka ‘Prophets’, throughout the entire history of Mormonism:

From this it is clear the Mormon Jesus and church are not the same as the historical and Biblical Jesus and orthodox church. Now in recent history Mormons have a great advertising campaign touting the Book of Mormon (BoM), not as a different Bible, nor as the correct gospel, but rather, now, it is “Another Testament of Jesus Christ”. This is clearly an effort to muddy the plain difference between Mormonism and Christianity in order to tie themselves to orthodox Christianity. Mormons, despite still claiming the Old and New Testaments are full of errors, now want to essentially present the BoM as the third book in a trilogy, just one book in a set.

No salvation if you deny Joseph Smith

In Christianity one has to accept and believe only in Jesus to be saved to go to heaven.

In Mormonism one has to believe that the LDS Church is the only true church and that Joseph Smith is God’s only true prophet. Mormonism teaches that if you believe in Jesus but deny Joseph Smith as his prophet, you cannot have salvation (sounds rather like Islam doesn’t it?):

And yet the Christian Bible tells us:

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

Changes in the Book of Mormon (BoM)

Mormons tell people they meet that the Christian Bible contains many errors and use the fact that there are multiple translations as proof. They imply these translations are a result of trying to cover up or explain away the supposed errors in the Bible. Never mind the fact that historically, there are multiple translations mostly for readability reasons* and despite numerous translations the facts and actual doctrine have remained unchanged and consistent, something that cannot be said of the BoM even though it is much newer. (Ed. * We accept this claim of the KJAV, but not of any other version. See our KJAV Series for reasons).

"I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book." (Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of Mormonism, History of the Church, Volume 4, page 461).

In the BoM Alma 41:8 claims: "the decrees of God are unalterable..." And still the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has managed to introduce change after change for over 150 years.

Mormonism teaches that the BoM is the most correct book ever written. Why then don’t Mormons print or read from the Book of Mormon written in 1830? Many changes have been made to the BoM over the years. A comparison of the first edition of the Book of Mormon with a current edition shows nearly 4,000 changes. Many of the changes seem minor unless you consider the BoM to be "the most correct of any book on earth”, as the creator of Mormonism, Joseph Smith, claimed. In many cases the original thought was changed and the changes are major departures from the original text.

For example, in the first edition of the BoM, what is now 1 Nephi 11:32 (Chapter 3, page 26 of the original Book of Mormon), shows that the original manuscript and the first edition copies are identical. Since the handwritten copy and the first printed copies match, one cannot dismiss them as “printer’s errors.” Subsequent changes were introduced by the LDS Church and are significantly different from the handwritten manuscript and the early printed copies.

A few changes:

Joseph Smith and the King James Bible

There are 17 full chapters from the Book of Isaiah in the Book of Mormon in Mosiah. In a close comparison of chapter 53 of Isaiah and the 14th chapter of Mosiah one will find that all the italicized words in Isaiah are word for word copied in Mosiah. Those italicized words were added by the King James translators in 1611 for clarification and easier reading in English. How does the LDS Church explain their presence if Joseph Smith didn't copy out of the Bible? (Source: http://www.hismin.com/content/priesthood-questions )

One has to wonder why Joseph Smith wrote in the style of the King James English in 1830. The BoM reflects the idioms of the English language in the early 1600s found in the KJV of the Bible and not, as one would expect, the Near Eastern idioms of the ancient language it purports to translate.

A translation of ancient material should include the idioms of the time period being translated or of the time period of the translation (the 1830s) but not the idioms of a period in between the original and the translation. When Joseph Smith wrote the BoM the language of the KJV was already ‘archaic’. Why wasn’t the BoM translated into the language used in the United States in the 1830s?

‘A burning in your bosom’

Witnesses

Several Mormons claimed to have actually seen the Golden Plates from which Joseph Smith translated the BoM. They all claimed to have seen piles and stacks of these plates.

However the BoM witnesses later admitted they only saw these things in visions, not in reality.

All the BoM witnesses (excepting Joseph Smith’s brothers and his father) later left the Mormon Church and joined other religions or started their own.

Divisions in Christianity are bad while divisions in Mormonism are not mentioned.

The late Mormon "apostle", Bruce McConkie, said in a satellite transmission to Mormons worldwide:

"The Bible of the Old World has come to us from the manuscripts of antiquity -- manuscripts which passed through the hands of uninspired men who changed many parts to suit their own doctrinal ideas. Deletions were common, and, as it now stands, many plain and precious portions and many covenants of the Lord have been lost. As a consequence, those who rely upon it alone stumble and are confused and divide themselves among churches, all based on this or that interpretation of the Bible." (Source: Ensign, December 1985, page 55).

Mormonism teaches that because the BoM is so perfect and clear, Mormonism does not have the divisions that traditional Christianity has.

“It is to be expected that when the angel restores the gospel it will be restored in fullness and in the most perfect simplicity and plainness so that every point of the doctrine of Christ shall be clearly revealed and expressed in such language that no two persons could understand it differently... nothing else can be an infallible standard of the Christian religion; nothing else can reclaim them from divisions and strifes; nothing else will give certainty and stability so necessary to the happiness and salvation of man; and nothing else could be expected in the revelation of the gospel by an angel. Such a revelation is the Book of Mormon; the most infallible certainty characterizes every ordinance and every doctrinal point revealed in that book. In it there is no ambiguity, no room for controversy, no doctrine so imperfectly expressed, that two persons would draw two different conclusions therefrom...”

(Orson Pratt's Works, Vol 2, "Important Works in Mormon History", Grandin Book Co, 1990, p. 83; This can also be found in Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, Apostle Orson Pratt, 1851, No. 6, page 83).

The Mormon church actually has many divisions and these divisions started just a few years after it was founded. The most well-known division being the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS) (now known as Community of Christ). The RLDS were founded in the spring of 1844 by leaders dissenting from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The RLDS was first headed by Joseph Smith III, the eldest surviving son of Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the Latter Day Saint movement.

In 2001, the RLDS/Community of Christ President, W. Grant McMurray, said of problems with the BoM, "The proper use of the Book of Mormon as sacred scripture has been under wide discussion in the 1970s and beyond, in part because of long-standing questions about its historicity and in part because of perceived theological inadequacies, including matters of race and ethnicity."

Archaeology

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has spent tens of millions of dollars in archaeological searches in North, Central, and South America and has not found anything, no evidence of the people or large cities they claim existed.

Contrast that with Biblical and non-Biblical archaeology which continually finds confirmation from the Bible. Cities that have not existed for thousands of years but mentioned in the Bible have been located and their inhabitants identified and their history verified.

Ancient People

The BoM claims to be a history of the ancient peoples living in Central America. Mormons claim that in 1830 no one knew of the existence of the great cities and ancient civilizations which once inhabited Central America, and that archaeologists and other researchers after 1830 confirmed that ancient civilizations and cities, similar to those described in the BoM, did not exist.

The truth is many books from the early 1700s and 1800s existed prior to the BoM from which Joseph Smith could have learned about ancient cultures in Central and South America: History of America, Herrera, 1725; The Hope of Israel, Manasseh ben Israel 1649-1656; History of Mexico, Clavigero (2 Vols), lst English edition in 1787, translated by Charlie Cullen; History of the American Indians, James Adair, 1775; The American Geography, Jedidiah Morse, 1789; European Settlements in America, Burks, 1808; Spanish Colonies, Walton, 1810; Researches in Mexico, A. De Humboldt, translated into English by H. M. Williams, 1814; Researches on America, James H. McCullah, 1817; Spanish America, R. H. Bonnycastle, 1818; Bullock's Mexico, 1824; Archaeologia Americana, 1820; A View of S. America and Mexico, Niles, 1826.

The books by Mannasseh ben Israel in 1656 & James Adair in 1775 both advanced the theory that the American Indians were descendants of the Israelites; therefore, Joseph Smith did not have a new revelation regarding this incorrect theory.

Ancient Languages

According to the LDS movement the BoM was originally written in a language Joseph Smith claimed to be Reformed Egyptian. The only problem is there is no such thing as “reformed Egyptian”.

Racism

A Few Differences between Mormonism and Christianity:

In the beginning:

View of God:

The Mormon God is not the same as the God of the Christian Bible. Mormonism teaches, "As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become." In other words Mormonism teaches God was once a man and then became a god and that man can

become a god.

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

View of Jesus Christ:

Sin and Salvation:

Life After Death:

Regarding faith and salvation, Mormonism teaches:

"Salvation in its true and full meaning is synonymous with exaltation or eternal life and consists in gaining an inheritance in the highest of the three heavens within the celestial kingdom... It is the salvation which the saints seek. It is of this which the Lord says, 'There is no greater gift than the gift of salvation'. (Source: Doctrine and Covenants 6:13).

"This full salvation is obtained in and through the continuation of the family unit in eternity, and those who obtain it are gods." (Source: Doctrine and Covenants 131:1-4; 132)

"Full salvation is attained by virtue of knowledge, truth, righteousness, and all true principles. Many conditions must exist in order to make such a salvation available to men. Without the atonement, the gospel, the priesthood, and the sealing power, there would be no salvation. Without continuous revelation, the ministering of angels, the working of miracles, the prevalence of gifts of the spirit, there would be no salvation. If it had not been for Joseph Smith and restoration, there would be no salvation. There is no salvation outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”. (Source: Mormon Doctrine, pp. 669-671)

Brigham Young: “From the day that the priesthood was taken from the earth to the winding up things of things, every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are - I with you and you with me. I cannot go there without his consent.” (Source: Journal of Discourses, vol. 7:289, and 1984 LDS Church manual, “Search These Commandments”, p. 133.)

"Joseph Smith was a prophet, and all calumny and aspirations to the contrary cannot controvert that fact. Anyone who has concern for the welfare of his eternal soul should give attention to this message. Every man who has lived since the days of Joseph Smith is subject to accepting him as a prophet of God in order to enter into our Heavenly Father’s presence." (Source: LDS Church News, March 17, 2001).

Joseph Smith: “I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet.” (Source: History of the Church, vol. 6:408-409).

Conclusion

The great-nephew of Joseph Smith, Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr. (1838 – 1918) wrote:

"Mormonism, as it is called, must stand or fall on the story of Joseph Smith. He was either a prophet of God, divinely called, properly appointed and commissioned, or he was one of the biggest frauds this world has ever seen. There is no middle ground… The doctrines of false teachers will not stand the test when tried by the accepted standards of measurement, the scriptures." (Source: Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 1, page 188).

Actually I agree with the above statement. As I have shown throughout my paper, the Jesus of Christianity is not the same as the Jesus of Mormonism. There is no connection between Mormonism and orthodox Christianity. Mormonism historically teaches a different God, a different Jesus, and a different Christianity. History and archaeology confirm this, as do the Scriptures:

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

The scriptures also warn us of coming false prophets:

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Matthew 7:15

“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” Matthew 24:11

“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” Mat 24:24,25.

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:6-9.

“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” 2 Peter 2:1-3.

“I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:” Revelation 2:2

First published: http://www.free-will-predestination.com/mormon.html  and republished with permission.

Also read BTM Articles: A-405 – the Character of Joseph Smith. A-406 – The Book of Mormon. A-407 – Mormonism. A-457 – The Fakery of the Mormon ‘gospel’.

© June 2012 David Bennett Reproduced with permission.

Published on www.christiandoctrine.com

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