by Michael Wolsey
An interesting thing happened to me in 2009 when after I got saved in God’s church, I called my Mormon grandmother in Utah to tell her of the good news. Since I had been unsaved for most of my life, I thought my grandmother would be very happy to hear about this exciting new event in my life. However, I was very surprised when she actually changed the subject immediately after I told her that I had been born again. I was quite puzzled by this and more than a little bit upset. I love my grandmother very much and I just did not understand why she acted this way.
I had always looked at Mormonism as though they were another denomination of Christianity, after all, this was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They had the name of Jesus in their name, how could they NOT be Christian right? Growing up in Utah I had been exposed to the Mormon church many times. As a seven -year-old child, I stayed with my grandmother for a year after my dad died and was forced to go to a Mormon church. As a result, I did learn quite a bit about Mormonism. As I grew up, there were many times I had attended Mormon church services, and even as a Boy Scout, I was continually exposed to Mormon doctrine at Boy Scout meetings. Growing up or living in Utah, you cannot escape it.
As I thought about my grandmothers’ reaction to my newfound salvation, I recalled some early teaching I had received that I had not thought about for many years. I remember being taught that Joseph Smith received a “revelation” that his new church was “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth” (Doctrine and Covenants 1:30). This is a pillar of the Mormon church teaching and I had an “aha” moment at that time. The reason my grandmother changed the subject on me was because she believes I am not saved at all!
Admittedly, I did not know all that much about Mormonism, but I decided to learn more about it to better understand my grandmothers’ reaction. The more I dug, the more I understood my grandmother and I realized that we don’t worship the same Jesus!
Below are just a few of the differences between the Mormon Jesus and Jesus of the Bible.
Jesus conceived by a “natural union” between God the Father and Mary?
- Brigham Young taught that Jesus’ birth was conceived by a “natural” union between God the Father and the virgin Mary and not the Holy Spirit. (Journal of Discourses Vol. 8, p.115, https://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/digital/collection/JournalOfDiscourses3/id/3413/rec/8) (Journal of Discourses Vol. 1, p.50, https://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/digital/collection/JournalOfDiscourses3/id/1861)
- By contrast, the Bible teaches that the miracle of Jesus’ birth was initiated when Mary, a virgin, conceived “of the Holy Spirit”. “Now the birth of Christ was as follows. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit….for that which was conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 1: 18, 20 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+1&version=NKJV)
Jesus was a married polygamist?
- Mormon leaders teach that Jesus was married, had children, and even practiced polygamy. Mormon “apostle” Orson Hyde wrote, “Jesus Christ was married at Cana of Galilee….Mary, Martha, and others were his wives….he begat children. (Journal of Discourses Vol. 2, p.210. https://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/digital/collection/JournalOfDiscourses3/id/5924/rec/2) Mormon “apostle” Orson Pratt wrote “We have now clearly shown that God the Father had a plurality of wives….We have also proved most clearly that the Son followed the example of his Father, and became the great Bridegroom to whom kings’ daughters and many honorable wives are to be married.” (The Seer, p. 109 https://www.freewebs.com/iglesiadejesucristodeltiempodelfin/Orson%20Pratt%20-%20The%20Seer%20%281854%29.pdf)
- By contrast, the Bible makes no statements at all about Jesus being married, let alone, being a practicing polygamist.
Jesus is the brother of Satan?
- The Mormon church teaches that Jesus is the brother of Lucifer, AKA Satan. Former LDS President Spencer W. Kimball wrote, “Long before you were born a program was developed by your creators…The principal personalities in this great drama were a Father Elohim, the perfect in wisdom, judgment, and person, and two sons, Lucifer and Jehovah.” (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball) LDS General Authority Milton R. Hunter wrote, “The appointment of Jesus to be Savior of the world was contested by one of the other sons of God. He was called Lucifer….this spirit brother of Jesus desperately tried to become the Savior of mankind.” (The Gospel Through the Ages, p. 15). Additionally, in the Mormon book, The Pearl of Great Price, Moses, Chapter 5, v. 13, we read “And Satan came among them, saying: I am also a son of God.” ( https://www.lds.org/scriptures/pgp/moses/5?lang=eng). Mormon teaching and scripture affirm the fact that Mormons believe that Jesus and Satan are brothers.
- By contrast, the Bible describes Satan (Lucifer) as a created being, an angel. “You [Lucifer] were in Eden, the garden of God…on the day that you were created…you were the anointed cherub…you were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you…your heart was lifted up…you corrupted your wisdom” (Ez. 28:13,15,17 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+28&version=NKJV). “Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness” (2 Cor. 11:14-15 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Cor.+11&version=NKJV). Satan can’t be a son of God if he is an angel as the Bible tells us. The writer of Hebrews also puts an exclamation point against this false teaching when he writes, “But to which of the angels did He [God] ever say, ‘Thou art my Son, today I have begotten Thee’?” (Hebrews 1:5 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+1%3A5+&version=NKJV). Numerous Bible verses also affirm that Jesus is the only Son of the Father. Probably the most well known of these is John 3:16 where John writes under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Jesus is an exalted man?
- Mormon leaders teach that Jesus is an exalted man who became God by obedience and works. Milton R. Hunter writes, “Jesus became a God and reached His great state of understanding through consistent effort and continuous obedience to all the Gospel truths and universal laws” (The Gospel Through the Ages, p.51). Mormon “apostle” Bruce McConkie writes, “He [Jesus] is the Firstborn of the Father. By obedience and devotion to the truth he attained that pinnacle of intelligence which ranked him as a God, as the Lord Omnipotent, while yet in his pre-existent state.” (Mormon Doctrine, p, 129).
- By Contrast, the Bible clearly affirms that Jesus has existed as God for all eternity. There are many Bible verses that testify that Jesus is God and has been from the beginning, I will list two from the Apostle John. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made….And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:1-3, 14. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Revelation 22:13
There are many other differences between the person who the Mormons call Jesus and Jesus we read about in our Bibles and there are too many to list in this brief account. Interested readers are encouraged to research these important facts from the Bible and compare them to the false teachings of Mormonism.
One final note of interest that really stands out to me is the fact that the Mormon church has gone to great lengths to distance itself from the name “Mormons” when referring to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. A CNN article from August 17, 2018 titled “Mormons Don’t want you calling them Mormons Anymore” reports this: “This effort to distance itself from the Mormon name isn’t new. Leaders of the faith — which has more than 16 million members worldwide — made similar efforts in 1982, 2001 and 2011, CNN affiliate KSTU reported.” (https://fox13now.com/2018/08/16/visitors-at-temple-square-weigh-in-on-decision-by-the-church-of-jesus-christ-of-latter-day-saints-to-drops-lds-and-mormon/) The church itself has issued a new statement directly from the President of the Mormon church which states in part, “The Lord has impressed upon my mind the importance of the name He has revealed for His Church, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” https://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/name-of-the-church. In this statement, the Mormon prophet references their own scripture from the Doctrine and Covenants, Section 115:4 in a clear attempt to identify with the Biblical Jesus.
I find this to be another contradiction and another example of how the Mormon church has gone to great pains to associate themselves with the Christian faith, yet denies the true and living God, Jesus Himself. In my life, this contradiction manifested itself in my Grandmothers refusal to acknowledge that I am indeed saved and now walking as a child of God.