Some Christians consider Mormonism as a cult and not part of Christianity, mainly because of their different perspectives and practice of religion. Christians consider Mormons polytheistic because they have many gods. On the other hand, Mormonism considers itself monotheistic because they worship one God. They believe Christians have lost the authority of God because the Bible is edited. With all the disagreements and controversies, people would want to study Christianity vs. Mormonism.
The main difference between Christianity and Mormonism lies in the books of authority and their teachings. In Christianity, they have a Bible that teaches that God has always been God and He is a spirit and only one. On the other hand, Mormonism is guided by the book of Mormons and their book of Latter-day Revelations. The book teaches a different nature of God, including the idea that God was once human and had flesh, He has a wife, and there are many gods. Also, humans can become gods. There are many differences stated below.
So, what is the difference between Christianity and Mormonism? What are the similarities between Christianity and Mormonism? How does the Bible compare with the book of Mormon? How do Christians and Mormons view the nature of God? Which came first between Christianity and Mormonism? What do Mormons think of Christians? Read on to find out.
What is the difference between Christianity and Mormonism?
Difference in origin
Christianity is suggested to have originated in the times of Jesus, as recorded in the first books of the New Testament. The ministry of Jesus Christ and his disciples that dates back to the first century is also part of the origin. On the other hand, Mormonism originated from the vision of Joseph Smith, who is the founder of the church. Joseph Smith had two visions, one at 15 and one at 18. His visions inspired him to write the book of Mormons. The book of Mormons was published in 1830.
Different meanings of names
The formal name ‘Christians’ and ‘Christianity’ refers to the people and the religion of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Believers are followers of Jesus Christ. On the other hand, Mormonism and Mormon are informal names of the believers and their faith. The formal name of Mormonism religion is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS). The name Mormon comes from the name of a prophet who was also a warrior of the Nephite tribe, according to the writings in the book of Mormon.
Difference in Branches
Also, in Christianity, there are three branches. Different branches came into existence because of disagreements like the papacy. They include Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestantism. Protestantism has many denominations. However, all these branches believe in God, the Holy Trinity, and the Bible. On the other hand, Mormonism does not recognize the many branches brought forth by Brigham Young.
Christianity has Higher Membership than Mormonism.
The membership of Christianity is approximately 2.5 billion worldwide. Protestants are about 900 million, Roman Catholics are about 1.3 billion, and Eastern Orthodox approximately 220 million.
On the other hand, Mormonism has only about 17 million people worldwide.
The early contributors of Christianity include Jesus, early evangelists, early apostles, and Paul of Tarsus. Paul is said to have written 12 books of the New Testament. On the other hand, the early contributors of Mormonism include Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Oliver H.P., and Hyrum Smith.
Difference in Leadership
In Christianity, Jesus is the head of the church. However, the three branches differ in governance. Roman Catholics recognized the papacy and gave the pope a lot of authority. On the other hand, Protestants and Eastern Orthodox do not have a Pope. For Mormonism, Jesus is also the head of the church. However, there is a prophet or president that is in charge. The president or Prophet acts as a spokesman for Jesus and is helped by two counselors. The governing body of Mormonism is made up of twelve apostles.
Difference in Authority
Authority in Christianity depends on the beliefs of each branch. Protestants get their authority from the Bible. Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox get their authority from the Bible and their traditions. On the other hand, authority in Mormonism lies with the Prophet and the book of Mormon. Also, there is an authority in the Latter-Day revelations.
Different perspectives about the second coming of Christ
In Christianity, there is a belief in the second coming of Christ, judgment, and eternal life. There is a belief about the existence of Hell and heaven. The three branches also debate the period of Jesus’s second coming.
They imply that Jesus will come during the 1000th year from His first coming. On the other hand, Mormonism preaches judgment and the second coming of Jesus in quite a different way. Mormons believe that there are four different final places for human beings. There is the Celestial, Terrestrial, Telestial Kingdom, and Hell. Unlike Christians, Mormons preach that people who end up in Hell will have a chance to be saved again.
Christianity and Mormonism hold different perceptions about Baptism and practice it differently. In Christianity, perception and practice depend on the branches. In Roman Catholicism, Baptism is considered to be God’s grace, and they baptize infants. Some protestant churches believe in infant baptism and that Baptism is God’s grace. Other Christian churches do not believe in infant baptism. In Mormonism, adults and youth are baptized in full immersion. Baptism must always be done by a priest, meaning remission of sins.
In Christianity, different branches hold different beliefs and practices regarding the last supper. Roman Catholicism believes that during the Holy Communion, they believe in transubstantiation, while protestant churches like Lutheranism believe in consubstantiation. Others, like Presbyterians, take the Holy Communion believing that Jesus is literally present.
On the other hand, Mormonism takes their last supper every Sunday. Unlike Christians, they take water and bread instead of wine/ sweetened drinks and bread. As they take the last supper, they remember their promises during their Baptism.
Different number of Sacraments
In Christianity, different branches practice a different number of sacrament intake. Catholics believe in seven sacraments. Protestants hold two sacraments, the Lord’s Prayer and Baptism, as taught by Christ Himself. On the other hand, Mormonism’s sacraments are about four, youth and adult Baptism, priesthood, endowment, and marriage.
Origin of Sin
Christians acknowledge that the first sin was from Adam and Eve. Sin is hereditary to all humans, and each individual is born with sin. Also, In Christianity, members believe that sin is done through actions, thoughts, attitudes, words, and motives.
On the other hand, Mormonism believes that Adam and Eve brought sin into the world. However, each human being is responsible for their sins. They do not preach the original sin.
In Christianity, their way of salvation is through Jesus Christ, as backed Up in the Bible. Acts 4:12 “Salvation is to be found through him alone; in all the world there is no one else whom God has given who can save us.” Also, some Christians say that salvation is by grace and faith. On the other in Mormonism, salvation is achieved through faith and good works. They believe in Arminian salvation.
In Christianity, the Holy Spirit possesses similar attributes to those of God. He is a divine being that guides and comforts Christians. On the other hand, in Mormonism, the Holy Spirit is the only being in the trinity without a physical body. The Holy Spirit guides them and affirms their beliefs.
While Christianity believes in old-time prophets like Moses, Mormons believe in contemporary prophets like Joseph Smith and Thomas Mason.
What are the similarities between Christianity and Mormonism?
Both Christians and Mormons believe in the unified Holy Trinity. God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are united.
Also, they both believe that Jesus, who comes from Nazareth, is the son of God. Jesus is the Messiah, Lord, and God.
They both believe that to become a believer and be saved is through acknowledging and accepting Jesus Christ.
They both believe in the death of Christ. Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection were for the purpose of the substitutionary atonement of sin. Jesus was resurrected on the third day.
Also, God’s grace is sufficient in both religions to provide salvation. It is gained through the gospel of God.
How does the Bible compare with the book of Mormon?
Although the books of authority in these religions teach different perspectives, they have some complementary factors to each other. The Bible and the book of Mormon teach about God’s interaction with human beings. They preach almost similar principles.
The Book of Mormon clarifies and expands on what the Bible teaches about Christ. Both religious books teach that God is good and wants to help human beings. It is written in the book of Mormon that “For behold, this [the Book of Mormon] is written for the intent that ye may believe that [the Bible]; and if ye believe that ye will believe this also; and if ye believe this ye will know concerning your fathers, and also the marvelous works which were wrought by the power of God among them (Mormon 7:8–9).”
How do Christians and Mormons view the nature of God?
Christians’ View of the Nature of God
Christians believe that there is only one God
Christians believe that there is only one God. Isaiah 43:11 “I alone am the LORD, the only one who can save you.” Isaiah 44:6-8 “The LORD, who rules and protects Israel, the LORD Almighty, has this to say: “I am the first, the last, the only God; there is no other god but me. Could anyone else have done what I did? Who could have predicted all that would happen from the very beginning to the end of time? Do not be afraid, my people! You know that from ancient times until now, I have predicted all that would happen, and you are my witnesses. Is there any other god? Is there some powerful god I never heard of ?” Isaiah 45:5 “I am the LORD; there is no other god. I will give you the strength you need, although you do not know me.”
God has always been God from the beginning.
Also, Christians believe that God has always been God, as evidenced in the scripture. Psalms 90:2 says that “Before you created the hills or brought the world into being, you were eternally God, and will be God forever.”. Also, Isaiah 57:15 says, “I am the high and holy God, who lives forever. I live in a high and holy place, but I also live with people who are humble and repentant, so that I can restore their confidence and hope.”
Christians believe that God is a Spirit and not a flesh.
Also, Christians believe that God is a spirit and does not have flesh. It’s written in Numbers 23:19; it is written that ” God is not like people, who lie; He is not a human who changes his mind. Whatever he promises, he does; He speaks, and it is done.” Also, in Hosea 11:9, it is written, “I will not punish you in my anger; I will not destroy Israel again, for I am God and not a mere human being. I, the Holy One, am with you. I will not come to you in anger.” Additionally, God does not have flesh because, in 1st Samuel 15:29, it is written that “Israel’s majestic God does not lie or change his mind. He is not a human being—he does not change his mind.”
Nature of God in Mormonism
Mormons believe that there are many gods.
Mormons believe that God is not one, according to the book of Abraham 4:3 “And they (the Gods) said: Let there be light: and there was light.” This proves that Mormons believe in the polytheistic nature of God. According to them, there are uncountable planets like earth. Each planet has its gods. These gods are humans whose time elapses, and they die and then turn into gods.
Their apostles imply that there is no way that the gods can be counted. Also, Joseph Smith, who is the founder of Mormonism, wrote that “In the beginning, the head of the gods called a council of the gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and (the) people in it.” However, while people consider Mormons polytheistic believers, they consider themselves monotheistic because they worship one God, the head of the gods. Therefore they are henotheistic when it comes to their belief in the nature and existence of God.
Mormons believe that God was once a man.
The other gods are men from other planets who obeyed God’s commandments. Mormons believe that each man can become a god after death. The head God who was a man, once became God as written by Joseph Smith, ” … I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see…. He was once a man like us; yea that God himself, the Father, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did” Also, Brigham, who was the second president, also said that God was a man from another planet and passed all the tests then died and became God.
Mormons believe that God has a Wife.
Also, their belief that God had flesh is backed up by the idea that Jesus came as a man and died, then gained exaltation. Therefore, believers are taught to pursue godhood as Jesus did.
Also, In Mormonism, it is believed that God has a wife. With this belief, they teach that husband and wife who live in obedience will become a god and goddess after the resurrection.
Which came first between Christianity and Mormonism?
Christianity is suggested to have come earlier than Mormonism.
Christianity is believed to have started in the first century during the time of Jesus Christ. Jesus and Paul of Tarsus are believed to be the founders of Christianity. On the other hand, Mormonism was founded in the 19th Century by Joseph Smith.
What do Mormons think of Christians?
First, Mormons believe they are Christians even though other Christians do not consider them Christians. Mormons say Christians have lost God’s authority because most Christians rely on the scripture, which Mormons deem incorrect. Mormons consider the Bible an erroneous book because it contains both facts and errors that have been added and subtracted over the years. Also, for this reason, Mormons require that all people from all faiths get baptized when they join Mormonism.
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