Mormonism vs Protestant: What is the main difference?

I have spent the last fifteen years in active ministry and have learned much about religion. My knowledge and educational background play a significant role in my teaching ministry as a pastor. I teach the youths and various adult groups. During last week’s study, we began discussing the origin of Protestants. One of the students wanted to know whether Mormons are Protestants. Since I have encountered a similar question from several readers, I decided to explain the difference between Mormonism vs. protestant in details. Are they different?

The main difference between Mormons and Protestants is their view of salvation; Protestants believe in salvation by faith alone, while Mormonism believes in salvation through faith and works. Protestants believe that to receive salvation, one only needs to believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ – that is, faith alone. On the other side, Mormons believe that to receive salvation, one needs to believe in Jesus Christ, repent, undertake immersion baptism when of accountable age, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by laying on of hands and persevering to the end.

In this article, I will discuss the difference between Mormonism and Protestantism. Also, I will explain how their beliefs differ and discuss any similarities. To know these and more, read on.

Mormonism vs. Protestant: Difference in the definition

Mormonism vs Protestant
Mormonism vs. Protestant. Image source: Pixabay

Mormonism is a set of religious beliefs and doctrines that originated from the Book of Mormons and are followed and advanced by the Church of Latter-day Saints. Mormonism is a religious movement founded in 1830 by Joseph Smith Jr. but likes to identify as Latter-day Church. The term Mormonism is from the term Mormon, derived from the book of Mormons that Joseph Smith Jr. claims to have found and translated through the help of an angel. Joseph Smith named the book “The Book of Mormons.”

On the other hand, Protestant refers to a group of individuals and Christian denominations that originated from the 16th-century Reformation movement. The Reformation movement protested against certain Christian beliefs and practices advanced by the Catholic Church. The term protestant was derived from the Latin word “protestari, “meaning to declare publicly or bear witness.

What’s the Difference between Mormonism and Protestantism?





Branched from protestant in the 19th century -on 6th April 1830, to be precise. It was started after publishing the Book of Mormons in Fayette, New York, in the USA.

It branched from Catholicism in the 16th century. The reforms of Martin Luther initiated it. Europe, especially Germany, saw the greatest effects of the Reformation movement.

meaning of the name

The name Mormon originated from the Book of Mormons. In this book, it is the name of the prophet who is said to have compiled and abridged the ancient records contained within it.

The name protestant means to proclaim or to bear witness. It comes from the Latin name “protestari.” It also represents the reformers’ actions, who protested against certain Catholic doctrines and practices.

Early influencers

It was founded by Joseph Smith Jr. when he wrote the Book of Mormon.

The three major early influencers include Ulrich Zwingli of Switzerland, John Calvin of France, and Martin Luther.

Significant outside the Bible.

The Book of Mormons, written by John Smith Jr., is the most significant because it claims to be another testament to the revelation of Jesus Christ. They also believe in Doctrine Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.

They include the sermons of Martin Luther King, The Institute of the Christian Religion by Calvin, the Apostles Creed, and the Nicene Creed.


It consists of a hierarchical structure. At the top of the hierarchy is the First Presidency, which comprises three individuals: the President of the Church and two counselors. Below the First Presidency are the Twelve Apostles, chosen by the President of the Church.

There is no governing body or leader. However, some denominations have episcopalian governments.


Although they believe in salvation through Christ, there is a great emphasis on works, and salvation seems to be a continuous process. Failure to perform good works and endure to the end may rob you of eternal life.

They greatly emphasize salvation through faith alone and in Christ alone. Additionally, the Bible is the final authority of the Church and Christians.

Theological and social world view

They strive to live by a strict code of moral values and ethics. They emphasize virtues such as honesty, purity, integrity, and service. They believe in the importance of personal righteousness and making choices that align with God’s commandments.

Most protestant denominations have embraced liberalism, while some remain conservative.

Differences in the beliefs between Mormonism and Protestant

Mormonism vs Protestant - What is the main difference?
Beliefs between Mormonism and Protestant. Image source: Pixabay


In Mormonism, salvation is through atonement by Jesus Christ, obedience to the law, and endurance to the end. There is a strong emphasis on obedience to the law and ordinances of the gospel to receive eternal life.

Protestants believe that salvation results from faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Although they believe in works and the commandments, such have no role in obtaining salvation.

The Trinity

The Mormons believe in the trinity but believe that God the Father is distinct from God the Son and the Holy Spirit.

On the other hand, protestants believe in the trinity but believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one and not distinct.

What are the similarities between Mormonism and Protestant?

Mormonism and Protestants identify as Christians and believe in Jesus Christ as the son of God and the savior. They believe that the death of Jesus attorned for the sins of men and is a crucial aspect of salvation.

They also use the Bible as a primary source of reference for their beliefs and faith. The Bible is a source of revelation.

Both traditions practice baptism as an important sacrament. While there are variations in baptismal practices within Protestantism, both Mormons and Protestants generally believe in the necessity of baptism for spiritual initiation and membership in the Church.

What do Protestants think of Mormons?

Many Protestants view Mormonism as a distinct and separate religious movement with significant theological differences. They may have concerns about the unique beliefs of Mormons, such as the additional scriptures, the nature of God, and the concept of salvation.

Some Protestants classify Mormonism as a cult, especially because of the doctrinal differences resulting from their beliefs in the Book of Mormon. They believe that the Book of Mormon was not inspired by God as the Mormons tend to believe.

Do Mormons and Protestants use the same Bible?

Mormonism vs Protestant
Do Mormons and Protestants use the same Bible? Image source: Pixabay

Mormons and Protestants use the same books in the Old Testament. They accept the books commonly found in the Protestant Bible, such as Genesis, Exodus, Psalms, Isaiah, and others. Also, they use the same books in the New Testament. They accept the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles of Paul, and the Book of Revelation.

However, Mormons treat the Book of Mormons and the Pearl of Great Price as scriptures, and they carry the same weight as the Bible. Therefore, they have additional books they regard as Holy Scriptures.

Which one is more popular, Mormonism or Protestant?

Protestantism is more popular than Mormonism because it has many followers. DBpedia organization states there are about 800 million to 1 billion Protestants worldwide. On the other side, there are about 17 million Mormons worldwide. However, recent statistics show a great increase in Mormons, especially between 2021 and 2022. That year alone, there was a 26% increase in baptism and membership of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-days members.

Leave a Comment