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Is Mormonism Compatible with the Bible?

The Nature of God: Contrasting Views

The understanding of God's nature is a fundamental difference between biblical Christianity and Mormonism. According to the Bible, God is eternal, unchanging, and the only true God. In Deuteronomy 6:4, we read, "Hear, O Israel: Jehovah our God, Jehovah is one." The Bible consistently emphasizes the monotheistic belief in one God who exists in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). This concept of the Trinity is foundational to Christian doctrine.

In contrast, Mormonism teaches that God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are three separate beings. Moreover, Mormons believe that God was once a man who achieved godhood, as stated by the LDS Prophet Lorenzo Snow: "As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man may be." This doctrine is fundamentally incompatible with the biblical teaching that God is uncreated and has always been God. Isaiah 43:10 states, "Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me."

The Authority of Scripture: The Bible vs. Additional Revelations

Biblical Christianity holds the Bible as the sole and final authority in all matters of faith and practice. The Bible is described as God-breathed and sufficient for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The Book of Revelation warns against adding to or taking away from the Scriptures: "I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book" (Revelation 22:18).

Mormonism, however, considers additional scriptures—The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price—as equally authoritative. This additional revelation contradicts the biblical principle of the sufficiency and completeness of the Bible. The inclusion of these texts introduces doctrines and historical narratives not found in the Bible, leading to significant theological deviations.

The Person and Work of Jesus Christ

The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, co-equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. John 1:1-3 affirms, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being." Jesus' sacrificial death and resurrection provide the only means of salvation for humanity (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).

Mormonism, however, teaches that Jesus is the literal spirit brother of Lucifer and that His atonement, while significant, is not the sole means of salvation. According to Mormon doctrine, individuals must also perform specific works, including temple rituals and adhering to the teachings of the LDS Church, to attain exaltation or godhood. This works-based approach contradicts the biblical doctrine of salvation by grace through faith alone, as stated in Ephesians 2:8-9: "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast."

The Concept of Salvation and Exaltation

Salvation in biblical Christianity is a gift from God, received through faith in Jesus Christ. Romans 10:9-10 declares, "If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation." This salvation includes the forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life with God.

Mormonism, however, distinguishes between general salvation (resurrection) and exaltation (becoming a god). While all people will be resurrected, only those who follow the LDS Church's teachings and participate in its ordinances can achieve exaltation. This belief in the potential for humans to become gods directly conflicts with the Bible's teaching that there is only one God and that salvation is solely through faith in Jesus Christ.

The Role of Prophets and Apostles

In the Bible, prophets and apostles were chosen by God to convey His messages and establish the foundation of the church. Ephesians 2:20 states that the church is "built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone." The apostles' teachings, recorded in the New Testament, provide the authoritative basis for Christian doctrine and practice.

Mormonism teaches that it has a living prophet and apostles who receive ongoing revelation from God. This belief undermines the finality and sufficiency of the biblical revelation. The introduction of new doctrines and practices by LDS leaders often contradicts or adds to the teachings of the Bible, creating a significant divergence from traditional Christianity.

The Concept of the Priesthood

The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is our high priest, who has offered the perfect sacrifice for sins and now intercedes for believers. Hebrews 4:14-16 explains, "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin." The New Testament also teaches the priesthood of all believers, where each Christian has direct access to God through Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:9).

In contrast, Mormonism teaches the existence of two priesthoods: the Aaronic and the Melchizedek. LDS doctrine asserts that these priesthoods are necessary for performing certain ordinances and for holding church leadership positions. This hierarchical structure contrasts with the New Testament teaching that all believers are priests and have equal access to God through Christ.

The Afterlife and Eternal Destiny

The Bible provides a clear teaching on the afterlife, with a dichotomy between eternal life with God and eternal separation from Him. Jesus describes this in Matthew 25:46: "These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." Believers are assured of eternal life with God, while those who reject Christ face eternal judgment.

Mormonism presents a different view of the afterlife, with multiple degrees of glory: the celestial, terrestrial, and telestial kingdoms. This tiered understanding of the afterlife is based on one's faithfulness to LDS teachings and ordinances. Additionally, the potential for exaltation to godhood introduces a significant deviation from the biblical concept of eternal life.

Conclusion of Points

The examination of core doctrines—such as the nature of God, the authority of Scripture, the person and work of Jesus Christ, the concept of salvation, the role of prophets and apostles, the priesthood, and the afterlife—reveals substantial differences between biblical Christianity and Mormonism. These differences underscore the incompatibility of Mormonism with the teachings of the Bible, as understood through the objective Historical-Grammatical method of interpretation.

About the Author

EDWARD D. ANDREWS (AS in Criminal Justice, BS in Religion, MA in Biblical Studies, and MDiv in Theology) is CEO and President of Christian Publishing House. He has authored over 220+ books. In addition, Andrews is the Chief Translator of the Updated American Standard Version (UASV).


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