As a devoted Christian, I take an interest in various religious doctrines. Therefore, I was so intrigued by Mormons and Mennonites that I visited predominantly Mennonite and Mormon countries for two months. During the visits, I got to experience each culture and religion. I learned they have many differences in traditions and beliefs that people tend to confuse. Last week, I decided to teach my college theology class about the two groups. Many were so confused during the class session. Others thought the Mormons and Mennonites were the same. One student stood up and asked me to clarify the difference between the two. With my vast knowledge and first-hand experience, I gave a comprehensive Mennonites vs. Mormons comparison.
The main difference between Mennonites and Mormons is their origin and beliefs. Mennonites originated from the Anabaptists and follow Christian beliefs. While the Mormon religion originated from the Teachings and Prophecy of Joseph Smith, and they follow beliefs in The Book of Mormon.
In this article, join me as we delve into the topic of Mennonites versus Mormons, where we will look at their differences, similarities, and traditions, among other topics. Read along to find answers to all these questions.
Mennonites vs. Mormons: Difference in definition
The Mennonites are members of a protestant church that came from the Anabaptists, a radical protestant reform movement in the 16th century. Therefore, they are a group of a denomination that arose in the Anabaptist movement. The name of the church came from a Dutch priest called Menno Simons, who centralized and formalized the work started by the Anabaptists. As they are protestant, they do follow the Christian doctrine.
Mormons are a member of a religious group called the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints or LDS. Mormonism was founded by Joseph Smith in 1830 in New York. They follow concepts in Christianity and prophecies by Joseph Smith, the founder. He is viewed as a prophet because he found additional information in the Bible engraved on gold plates and called it the Book of Mormon, which he published in 1830. The other Mormon denomination is called the Community of Christ. However, today’s most prevalent group is the LDS church, as it is now not only in the US but also in Europe, Latin America, Canada, Africa, the Philippines, and part of Oceania.
Difference between Mennonites and Mormon
Parameters of comparison
Mennonites are a group of the anabaptist denomination that resulted from the Protestant movement in the 16th century. The name came from the Dutch priest Menno Simons.
Mormons are a member of a religious group called the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It was founded in 1830 by Joseph Smith, who is viewed as a prophet in the community.
Standard of Living
Most Mennonites are indistinguishable from “normal people” in their dress as they are more liberal, mainly in North America. While the more conservative group is known to dress simpler, plainly, and live a simple lifestyle that is detached from worldly things
Mormons have been taught to embrace the modern-day world through education and technology. They believe that adapting to the modern world is necessary for individual growth.
Concept of afterlife
Mennonites follow the protestant teaching as they follow the Bible. Therefore, they believe in Heaven and hell and the coming of Jesus to signify the end of the world. They do not have a concept regarding the afterlife.
Mormons believe that life continues after death. They believe in 3 stages of Paradise where the righteous go. From highest to lowest are the celestial kingdom, the terrestrial kingdom, and the telestial kingdom.
They also believe that spirits who have sinned have to go through a stage in hell.
Today Mennonites are widespread, but the most common language spoken by the Mennonites is Pennsylvania Dutch, an oral language. Around 250,000 Mennonites speak it. Plautdietsch German is the second most common language spoken by 200,000 Mennonites. Both are a type of Germanic language; however, other than the Germanic language, most do speak English.
Mormons speak a variety of languages. The most common language they use is English. Some other languages are Spanish, Korean, Portuguese, Japanese, Samoan, Tagalog, Tongan, Ilokano, and Cebuano. Less familiar ones are Hiligaynon, Xhosa, Lingala, Tzotzil, and Chuukese, Xhosa.
According to a 2021-2022 annual report, Mennonites are about 1 million worldwide, with churches on several continents.
The Mormons, as of 2022, have about 17 million followers. It has grown from its initial six members to 1 million members in 1947, and now they are around 17 million.
Similarities between Mennonites and Mormon
Their similarities are that they both follow the Christian doctrine, Have a strong family connection, engage in missionary activities, and have high morals and standards.
Both Mennonites and Mormons follow the Christian doctrine and follow Jesus’ teaching. They both know of the concept of Heaven and hell, Jesus second coming, and the commandments. They both believe they must follow Jesus’ teachings and live holy lives to reach Heaven.
Strong family connection
They both believe in having a strong connection or bond within the family and community where they help lift each other and grow.
Both believe in missionary work to help those in need and serve others while spreading the word of God so that people to Christianity and their religion.
High moral standards and values
Both are known for their high moral standing. They strive to be peaceful, serve others, and live holy lives, thus requiring good morals.
What are Mennonite traditions?
Mennonite traditions are centered around the Bible, biblical teachings, pacifism, and Sabbath.
Mennonites believe and follow the Bible. They view the Bible as a divine book that God and the holy spirit inspired, and they must follow to gain salvation. Moreover, they believe that Jesus dies on the cross to save man.
Since they follow the Bible, they also believe in various biblical teaching. For instance, they believe Jesus died to save man from sins. They also view baptism as a way to cleanse themselves from sins and holy communion as a sign of the new covenant after the death of Jesus. They also believe in the holy spirit, who was sent as our helper. Finally, the notion of Heaven and hell, where those who accepted Christ go to Heaven and those who have not been separated from God go to hell.
They hold pacifist traditions. Pacifism is the belief that violence or war is usually unjustified and that peaceful ways of solving a war or conflict should be sought. As a result, they usually stay away from taking part in the conflict. Still, they can help negotiate between the two parties as they believe in peaceful means.
Mennonites always have their Sabbath every Sunday, where they worship God. They believe that Sunday, the first day of the week, was when Jesus rose from the dead.
What are Mormon traditions?
Mormon traditions are based on the Bible, the before life, the afterlife, revelations, the Book of Mormon, and the Sabbath.
Mormons believe the Bible to be divine. Therefore, they believe in God, Jesus Christ, and the holy spirit. They understand that Jesus dies to save them and that they should live a holy life and follow the ten commandments to get into Heaven.
They believe that before living on Earth, they had a life before Earth where all humankind lived with God in Heaven and that life on Earth is only temporary.
Mormons believe that when they die, there is an afterlife. It is where souls who have sinned go to cleanse themselves, while those who are righteous in God’s eye go to Paradise. The Mormons believe Paradise to be in three levels. The celestial kingdom is the highest, then the terrestrial and telestial kingdom.
They consider Joseph Smith as their Prophet. He prayed and asked God for guidance on which church to join. He, however, saw a vision of God and Jesus, who told him not to join any church but to restore the church of Jesus Christ. They also believe in a modern-day prophet and await a prophecy from God regarding their church.
Book of Mormons
Just like the Bible, the Mormons also follow the teaching in the Book of Mormons. The book was found and published by Joseph Smith, who claimed it completed the Bible.
They observe the Sabbath on Sunday. They observe the Sabbath and keep it holy by refraining from shopping or leisure activities.
What do Mormons think about Mennonites?
Since most Mormons believe in having high moral values and standards and strive to live a holy life, they respect everyone’s religion, including the Mennonites. Moreover, regarding religion, the Mormons and Mennonites have similar beliefs like those of the Bible, Jesus, baptism, and missionary. Therefore, they respect each other’s religions, traditions, and beliefs. However, it is essential to note that personal opinions do differ.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.