Mormonism vs. Christianity: What is the main difference?

As a theologian with many years of experience, I have come to learn there are topics many Christians have questions about. For example, people wonder if Mormons are classified as Christians. During our weekly bible study session, the topic of Mormonism came up. I realized some members were not conversant with what it was and what this group believes in. So, are Mormons Christians? Let’s discuss Mormonism vs. Christianity.

Mormonism differs from mainstream Christianity’s belief in additional scripture such as the Book of Mormon, the idea that God was once a mortal man, and the emphasis on good works for salvation. Mainstream Christianity relies solely on the Bible, which is seen in scriptures like 2 Tim. 3:15-17, believes in the Trinity, and teaches that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ, not by works. These theological distinctions set Mormonism apart from mainstream Christianity.

If you would like to learn about the differences, similarities, and whether Mormons are seen as Christians, keep reading as we dive deeply into this topic.

Mormonism vs. Christianity: Differences in definition

Mormonism vs. Christianity. Image source: Freepik

The difference in definition between Christianity and Mormonism primarily stems from their divergent theological beliefs and practices.

Christianity is a broad term encompassing different denominations and traditions that follow the teachings of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Bible. Christians generally believe in the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as one God). They also believe that salvation is obtained through faith in Jesus Christ.

Mormonism, also known as the Latter-day Saint movement, is a distinct religious tradition within Christianity. In addition to accepting the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price as inspired by God, Mormons also believe that Jesus Christ is their personal Savior. They emphasize the significance of good deeds and individual obedience to gain salvation and believe that God the Father was once a human man who evolved to become divine.

Differences between Mormonism and Christianity




Doctrine of Humanity

Believe that they have a Heavenly Father and Mother, and they are their spiritual offspring that preexisted.

Believe that people are created in the likeness and image of God. Every person is worthy, dignified, and unique (Genesis 1:26).

The Doctrine of Scriptures

Acknowledges the authority of the LDS Four Standard Works.

  1. The Bible
  2. The Book of Mormon
  3. The Doctrine and Covenants
  4. The Pearl of the Great Price

The Bible (Old and New Testaments) is the revealed and inspired Word of God. It is the only source of Christian faith and conduct.

The Doctrine of Jesus

In the preexistence, Jesus was the spiritual “firstborn” Son of God. Every human being ever born was a spirit brother or sister in heaven. Jesus Christ was actually the first spirit born to our heavenly parents, making him our older sibling.

In the everlasting Trinity, which included the Father, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ, Jesus was the virgin-born God incarnate. His human and heavenly natures were both there while He was a man. Jesus willingly died on the cross while leading a blameless life to atone for the sin of the entire human race. John 1:1-18; 8:56-59

The Doctrine of God

God has a human body made of flesh and bones. Like the Father, Jesus also has a body, but the Holy Ghost does not.

The infinite Creator of everything. He is a Spirit being and the only God.

He exists as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, The Holy Trinity. Matthew 28:19

The Doctrine of Sin

Each person is responsible for their sin. People sin when they disobey God’s law.

They believe the fall of Adam was planned by God and necessary for mankind to advance.

People have decided to sin against God by rejecting His character and nature and living in opposition to his unchanging nature and revealed law. Romans 3:23, 1 John 1:8-10

The Doctrine of Salvation

The atonement of Jesus brought immortality to all humans. Exaltation (godhood) is only possible to Mormons who follow LDS principles such as tithing, heavenly marriage, baptism, and faith.

They also believe they become gods and have everything the Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have.

Through the grace of God, people can be delivered from the guilt and power of sin. This is made possible by Christ’s atonement and is obtained by personal trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior. Romans 3:20; 10:9- 10

The Doctrine of Life and Death

Believe in three levels of glory:

  1. Exaltation for devoted Mormons in the Celestial Kingdom
  2. Terrestrial Kingdom for righteous non-Mormons.
  3. Telestial Kingdom for the wicked and ungodly

Believe that Eternal life is given to those who trust and give their life to Jesus Christ. Those who do not go to hell.

Similarities between Mormonism and Christianity?

Mormonism and Christianity similarities. Image source: Freepik
  1. Regular worship and prayer are practices shared by mainstream Christians and Mormons. Both emphasize the value of praying and talking to God for direction.
  2. Moral Teachings: Mormons and traditional Christians both place a strong emphasis on moral principles that include love, honesty, compassion, and service to others.
  3. According to their creeds, Jesus Christ is the center of both Mormonism and traditional Christianity. They hold His deity, Savior-ship, and teachings to be true.
  4. Sacraments: Despite having different interpretations and practices, both traditions celebrate baptism and engage in the sacrament of communion.
  5. The presence of an afterlife is a belief shared by mainstream Christians and Mormons. They believe in both the possibility of hell or being cut off from God, as well as in heaven and eternal life.

Are Mormons considered Christians?

Whether Mormons are considered Christians is a matter of perspective and varies among different Christian denominations. Mormons consider themselves Christians and believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior. However, some mainstream Christian denominations do not classify Mormonism as traditional Christianity due to differences in doctrinal beliefs and practices. These differences include varying beliefs about the nature of God, additional scriptural texts, and the role of good works in salvation. Overall, it is a complex and debated topic within Christianity.

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