Is Mormonism a cult? What do Mormons believe?
Question: "Is Mormonism a cult? What do Mormons believe?"
Answer: The Mormon religion was founded less than two hundred years ago by a man named Joseph Smith. He claimed to have received a personal visit from God the Father and Jesus Christ and told that all churches and their creeds were an abomination. Joseph set out to impose a brand-new religion that claims to be the “only true church on earth.” The problem with Mormonism is that it contradicts, modifies, and expands on the Bible.
Christians have no reason to believe that the Bible is not true and adequate. To truly believe in and trust God means to believe in His Word. And all Scripture is inspired by God, which means it comes from Him (2 Timothy 3:16).
Mormons believe that there are in fact four sources of divinely inspired words, instead of just one. 1) The Bible “as far as it is translated correctly.” Which verses are incorrectly translated are not always made clear 2) The Book of Mormon was “translated” by Smith and published in 1830. Smith claimed it is the “most correct book” on earth, and that a person could get closer to God by following its precepts, “than by any other book.”
3) The Doctrine and Covenants is considered scripture by Mormons, containing a collection of modern revelations regarding the “Church of Jesus Christ as it has been restored.” 4) The Pearl of the Great Price is considered by Mormons to “clarify” doctrines and teachings that were lost from the Bible and adds its own information about the earth's creation.
Mormons believe these things about God: that He has not always been the Supreme Being of the universe, but attained that status through righteous living and persistent effort. They believe God the Father has a “body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s.” Though abandoned by modern Mormon leaders, Brigham Young taught that Adam actually was God and the father of Jesus Christ. Christians know this about God: there is only One true God
(Deuteronomy 6:4, Isaiah 43:10, 44:6-8), that He always has and always will exist (Deuteronomy 33:27, Psalm 90:2, 1 Timothy 1:17), and that He was not created, but is the Creator (Genesis chapter1, Psalm 24:1, Isaiah 37:16). He is perfect and no one else is equal to Him (Psalm 86:8, Isaiah 40:25). God the Father is not a man, nor was He ever (Numbers 23:19, 1 Samuel 15:29, Hosea 11:9). He is Spirit (John 4:24), and Spirit is not made
of flesh and bone (Luke 24:39).
Mormons believe that there are different levels or kingdoms in the afterlife: The Celestial Kingdom, the Terrestrial Kingdom, the Telestial Kingdom and outer darkness. Where mankind will end up depends on what they believe and do in this mortal life. The Bible tells us that after death, we go to Heaven or Hell based on whether we had faith in Jesus or not. To be absent from our bodies as believers means we are with the Lord (2 Corinthians
5:6-8). Unbelievers are sent to Hell, or the place of the dead (Luke 16:22-23). When Jesus comes for the second time, we will receive new bodies (1 Corinthians 15:50-54). There will be a New Heaven and New Earth for believers (Revelation 21:1), and unbelievers will be thrown into an everlasting lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15). There is no second chance for redemption after death (Hebrews 9:27).
Mormon leaders have taught that Jesus’ incarnation was the result of a physical relationship between God the Father and Mary. They believe Jesus is a God, but that any human can also become a God. Christians historically have taught that God is Triune and that He exists everlastingly as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). No one can achieve the status of God, only He is holy (1 Samuel 2:2). We can only be made
holy in God's sight through faith in Him (1 Corinthians 1:2). Jesus is the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16) and is the only one ever to have lived a sinless, blameless life, who now has the highest place of honor in Heaven (Hebrews 7:26). Jesus and God are one in essence, Jesus being the only One existing before physical birth (John 1:1-8, 8:56). Jesus gave Himself to us as a sacrifice, and God raised Him from the dead, and
one day everyone will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:6-11). Jesus tells us it is impossible to get to Heaven by our own works, only with faith in Him is it possible (Matthew 19:26). And many will not choose Him. “You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose the easy way” (Matthew 7:13). We all deserve everlasting punishment for
our sins, but God's infinite love and grace has allowed us a way out. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is everlasting life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Clearly there is only one way to receive salvation; to know God and His Son, Jesus (John 17:3). It is not done by works, but by faith (Romans 1:17, 3:28). When we have this faith, we will automatically be obedient to God's laws and become baptized out of love for Him, but not because it is a requirement for salvation. We can receive this gift no matter who we are or what we have done (Romans 3:22). “Salvation is found in no one
else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Although Mormons are usually friendly, loving, and kind people - they are involved in a false religion that distorts the nature of God, the Person of Jesus Christ, and the means of salvation.
Recommended Resource: Reasoning from the Scriptures with Mormons by Ron Rhodes.
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