Comparison Chart (Mormonism vs Christianity)

Comparison Chart (Mormonism vs Christianity)

MORMONISM

CHRISTIANITY

Many Gods
Joseph Smith taught, “I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 370; emphasis added).
One Trinitarian God
The Bible teaches that the Father is God, the Son is God (John 1:1; 20:28) and the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4); and that they are distinct Persons in the Godhead not to be confused with one another (Matthew 28:19; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6). There is only one true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:10; 1 Corinthians 8:4).
God, Once a Man, Progressed to Godhood
Joseph Smith taught, “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man. …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… [H]e was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did…” (Ibid., 345, 346; italics in original).
God Has Always Been God
God has always been God (Genesis 21:33; Psalm 90:2; Isaiah 40:28). God is spirit, not an exalted man with flesh and bone (John 4:24; Luke 24:39; Hosea 11:9; Numbers 23:19). God does not change (Malachi 3:6), nor does he grow in knowledge (Isaiah 40:13). There is none like him, he is unique, he is the only true God (Exodus 8:10; 2 Samuel 7:22; Isaiah 43:10; 44:6-8; 45:5, 21-22; 46:9; 1 Corinthians 8:5). (Note that though Jesus, being God, did become human in his incarnation [John 1:1, 14], this is quite different from a man progressing to become a god.)
Humans Can Become Gods
Joseph Smith taught, “Here, then, is eternal life to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you” (Ibid., 346).
Humans Cannot Become Gods
Men cannot become gods (Isaiah 43:10). Man is a created being, unlike God whohas always been (Genesis 21:33). God will not share his glory with another (Isaiah 42:8).
Humans Were Procreated in thePreexistence
M. Russell Ballard wrote, “Before the world was created, we all lived as the spirit children of our Heavenly Father [and Mother]. Through a natural process of inheritance we received in embryo the traits and attributes of our Heavenly Father” (Ballard, Our Search for Happiness, 70). Mormons also infer this from the preexistence of Jesus Christ.
Humans Were Created
Humans are created, not procreated, by God (Genesis 1:26; 2:7). Our existence begins in the womb of our mothers (Psalm 139:13). Humans cannot compare themselves to Jesus and his preexistence, for they are not deity by nature, as is Jesus. He preexisted because he is God (Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1; 17:5; Philippians 2:6-7). Jesus alone is from heaven, we are from the earth (John 3:13, 31; 8:23-24).
A Complete Apostasy of the Church
M. Russell Ballard wrote, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that God’s full authority was lost from the earth for centuries following the mortal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ… In short, the church Christ organized gradually disintegrated, and the fullness of the gospel was lost” (Ibid., 26, 31).
The Church Remains Forever
In Matthew 16:18 Jesus declared, “I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Given that Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth, we can trust that this promise would not fail (Matthew 28:18). While there are several passages that refer to an apostasy, it is never said to be a universal or complete apostasy (e.g., Acts 20:30; 2 Thessalonians 2:3; 1 Timothy 4:1). Rather, we know that God will be glorified in the Church throughout all ages (Ephesians 3:21), and that Christians have received a kingdom that cannot be shaken (Hebrews 12:28; cf. Daniel 2:44).
The Bible is Corrupted andIncomplete
Gordon B. Hinckley wrote, “Latter-day Saints recognize that errors have crept into this sacred work because of the manner in which the book has come to us. Moreover, they regard it as not being complete as a guide” (Hinckley, What of the Mormons?, 26).
The Bible is Reliable and Sufficient
God has promised that his word, the Bible, would stand forever (Isaiah 40:3). We know that his word is true (John 17:17), contains wisdom unto salvation, and thoroughly equips Gods people forevery good work (2 Timothy 3:15-17). God has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:2).
Works Necessary to Live with God Forever (Salvation)
M Russell Ballard wrote, “Jesus Christ accomplished two incomparable feats through His atoning sacrifice. First, He conquered death, and as a result all people will have the privilege of everlasting life with a resurrected body. Second, He suffered the burden and pains of our sins so that we might have the privilege of eternal life in the presence of God if we have faith in Christ as our Savior and choose to repent of our sins and keep His commandments” (Ballard, Our Search for Happiness, 88).
Salvation is Based on the Righteousness of Christ
The Bible never interprets mere resurrection as salvation (John 5:29). Those who receive Jesus will have eternal life, but the wrath of God remains on those who reject him (John 3:36). While Christians are called to keep God’s commandments (e.g. John 14:15), salvation is in no way based on our own righteous deeds (Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:5-8). It is through the atonement of Christ that we are made perfect (Hebrews 10:13-18). The atonement took place, not in the Garden of Gethsemane but through his blood shed on the cross (Colossians 1:20; 1 Peter 2:24).
Heaven (s)
There are three heavenly kingdoms: the celestial, terrestrial and telestial. Mormons argue for this belief from 1 Corinthians 15:40-41 and 2 Corinthians 12:2 (where the apostle Paul says he was caught up to the “third heaven”). See “Three Levels of Heaven” under “The Beliefs of Mormonism” above.
Heaven
The context of 1 Corinthians 15:40-41 is the contrast between resurrection (celestial or heavenly) and pre-resurrection (terrestrial or earthly) bodies, not heavenly kingdoms. The Bible does speak of three heavens: the atmospheric heaven, where birds fly and from which the rains fall (Genesis 7:23;8:2); the astronomic heaven, where the stars and planets reside (Genesis 1:14, 15; 22:17); and the third heaven, the throne of God (Matthew 6:9; Revelation 4:2).
Hell
Joseph Fielding Smith wrote, “Those who live lives of wickedness may also be heirs of salvation, that is, they too shall be redeemed from death and from hell eventually. These, however, must suffer in hell the torments of the damned until they pay the price of their sinning, for the blood of Christ will not cleanse them” (Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, 133-134).
Hell
One’s abode in hell is as eternal as one’s abode in heaven (Matthew 25:46). There is no second chance after death (Hebrews 9:27). At the final judgment, men either receive the resurrection of life or the resurrection of condemnation (Daniel 12:2; John 5:29)they are assigned either to heaven or hell.
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