Monday, April 06, 2009

Cults: Mormonism (Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints)

Click hereBasic beliefs

[1] Extra-biblical revelation: The Mormons claim four books to be authoritative revelations from God. These are the two books written by founder Joseph Smith, namely, Book of Mormon (first published in 1830) and the Pearl of Great Price (published in 1851). The other two are the Doctrines and Covenants (first published in 1835), and the King James Version of the Bible.

Smith published his own version of the KJV (called the JST, Joseph Smith Translation) in which he made changes favorable to Mormon doctrines.

[2] Polytheism or belief in many gods: Mormons believe that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are three separate Gods.

[3] God the Father is corporeal or has a physical body.

[4] Salvation by works:

“We believe that through the atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.” (Article 3 of the Mormon Articles of Faith).

We hold that salvation from sin is obtainable only through obedience, and that while the door to the kingdom has been opened by the sacrificial death and the resurrection of our Lord the Christ, no man may enter there except by his personal and voluntary application expressed in terms of obedience to the prescribed laws and ordinances of the Gospel. (The Philosophical Basis of Mormonism, p. 17).
[5] A continuing priesthood: The Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods have been restored and can be held by most male members twelve years and older.

[6] “Eternal progression” or the attainment of godhood: “As man is, God once was: as God is, man may become” (The Gospel Through the Ages, pp. 105-106).

[7] Denial of the virgin birth of Christ; God the Father who has a physical body impregnated Mary.

[8] Other beliefs
  • Polygamy: Orson Pratt, Mormon leader, said that Jesus was a polygamist, having married Mary, Martha, and the other Mary at the wedding of Cana. Joseph Smith and Brigham Young had dozens of wives. Smith claimed in 1843 that he received his revelation on polygamy. In 1890 however, then Mormon president Wilford Woodruff stated that he received another revelation prohibiting polygamy.

  • Racism (black skin is a curse due to sin); In 1978, however then Mormon president Spencer Kimball claimed that he had a revelation allowing black men to enter the Mormon priesthood.

  • Baptism for the dead (based on 1 Corinthians 15:29, and a “revelation” received by Joseph Smith)

  • Celestial marriage or marriage for eternity: Mormon couples married in a Mormon temple will remain married for eternity, and will bear “spirit children,” provided they attain the status of godhood.

  • Garden of Eden was located in Independence, Missouri, USA.

  • Refraining from coffee, tea, tobacco, and alcohol
Notes on Mormonism:

[1] The United States Supreme Court in 1879 ruled in the case of Reynolds v. United States (98 U.S. 145) that a federal statute outlawing bigamy could be enforced against a Mormon polygamist and that the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment did not pose a constitutional barrier to the enforcement of the statute. Even today, there are breakaway Mormon groups in the USA practicing polygamy.

[2] There are numerous parallels between Mormon beliefs and the television series “Battlestar Galactica.”

What the Bible really says

[1] The Bible is the only source of divine revelation today and is sufficient for all of life (Proverbs 30:6; Luke 16:31; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:3; Jude 3; Revelation 22:18-19). Download PDF on Biblical authority

[2] There is one God in three persons. Three in person does not equal three in essence. Deuteronomy 6:4 clearly teaches monotheism. God is spoken of in the plural (Genesis 1:26, 11:7; Isaiah 6:8). All three Persons of the Godhead were present at Christ’s baptism (Matt 3:16-17). Matthew 28:19 and 2 Corinthians 13:14 mention the three Persons of the Godhead.

[3] God is a Spirit (John 1:18; 4:24; 5:37; Luke 24:39; 1 Timothy 1:17, 6:16, and Hebrews 11:27)

[4] Salvation is by grace alone (basis) through faith alone (means) in Christ alone (object), and not by works (John 1:29, Romans 3:20; 10:2-3; Galatians 2:16, Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; 1 John 1:7; 2:2)

[5] The individual priesthood of the believer (Hebrews 4:16, 1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6). Download PDF on priesthood of the believer

[6] God is infinite while man is finite (Isaiah 55:8-9)

[7] Jesus Christ was virgin born (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:18-20; Luke 1:35).

Further study (Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] Mormonism, from Handbook of Today’s Religions

[2] Mormonism - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Session 47), by Emery Nester Ed.D., D.Min.

[3] Mormon Doctrine of God, by Patrick Zukeran (Probe Ministries)

[4] In The Name Of The Father, Son And Holy Spirit: Constructing A Trinitarian Worldview, by J. Scott Horrell, Th.D

[5] Anthropology and Hamartiology: Man and Sin, by Greg Herrick Th.M, Ph.D

[6] No God but All: Eastern Mysticism and the New Age Movement, by Kenneth Boa Th.M.; Ph.D.; D.Phil

[7] The Invasion of Planet Earth, by Bob Deffinbaugh, Th.M

[8] Prophecies of the Birth of Christ, by J. Hampton Keathley III, Th.M.

[9] Are There Really Different Races? from Answers in Genesis

[10] Materials from The Evidence Bible
[11] Please surf to Sermon / Preaching resources. Sermons are also available from South McGehee Baptist Church, McGehee, Arizona; Central Baptist Church, Lowesville; First Baptist Church, Mountain View, Missouri; Swift Creek Baptist Church; Word of Life Baptist Church, Pottsville, Philadelphia; Palm Springs Baptist Church, California; South Woods Baptist Church; Grove Baptist Church, Ulster; Dudley Baptist Church, United Kingdom; Independent Fundamental Baptist Sermons, Fundamental Christian Radio Broadcasts, Off-Site Audio Page and The Christian Radio Tuner

Notes: (1) This ministry does not necessarily endorse or share all the views and opinions expressed in the materials, resources or links mentioned in these posts. Please always refer to the Articles of Faith and Biblical distinctives of Baptists when you study these materials. (2) This lesson is part of the projected 300 plus lessons. From time to time, the lessons will be updated, revised, combined, formatted, and edited to comply with the VOA Simplified English word list. Later on, these lessons will be categorized, numbered sequentially, and made available as PDF downloads.

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