(MOBILE FRIENDLY)

Mormonism and Eternal Truth

Truth is not only
violated by falsehood;
it may be equally
outraged by silence.
(Henri-Frederic Amiel)

THE MORMON JESUS

Mormons become indignant if it is suggested that the Christ whom they follow is not the Saviour of the Bible. But their leadership readily admits that this is precisely the case:

“In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints do not believe in the traditional Christ: No, I don’t. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times. He together with His Father, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph left the grove that day, he knew more of the nature of God than all the learned ministers of the gospel of the ages.” (The LDS Church News, week ending June 20, 1998, page 7)

“ … the Christ followed by the Mormons is not the Christ followed by traditional Christianity.” (Elder Bernard P. Brockbank, of the First Quorum of the Seventy, The Living Christ, Ensign, May, 1977, pages 26 and 27.)

“ … virtually all the millions of apostate Christendom have abased themselves before the mythical throne of a mythical Christ … ” (LDS Apostle Bruce McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, page 269).

President Hinckley, Elder Brockbank and LDS Apostle Bruce McConkie each insists that the differences between the Jesus of Christianity and the Jesus of Mormonism are so vast that they cannot be considered as being one and the same person.

President Hinckley put it this way: “The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak.” He then went on to explain that Joseph Smith’s first vision had been the catalyst that had resulted in Mormons believing in a different Jesus Christ to the historical Jesus described in the Bible.

However, he is standing on shaky ground here. The official version of the first vision to which he is referring only first came to light approximately eighteen to twenty years after it was supposed to have occurred (c/f LDS publication Dialogue, Autumn 1966, pages 30-34). This would have made it eight to ten years after the establishment of the LDS church. Furthermore, it is invalidated by a contradictory account recorded in Joseph Smith’s own handwriting. So the claim that this discredited vision legitimizes the LDS’s unbiblical doctrines on God and Christ, has no substance. (A link to an article on Smith’s first vision is provided at the end of this page.)

CHRIST’S ORIGINS

According to the LDS’s teachings on pre-existence, the Mormon Jesus had the same origins as mankind, the devil and the angelic beings. But the Bible tells us that Christ is and always has been eternal deity (John 1:1) and that He created mankind and all the angelic beings, including Satan (c/f Colossians 1:16-17). Furthermore, Jesus emphasised that He did not have the same origins as mankind, as we were earthly creatures whereas He had come from above:

“And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.” (John 8:23, KJV)

“He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: He that cometh from heaven is above all.” (John 3:31, KJV)

THE CREATION

The gap between the LDS Christ and fallen mankind is reduced even further by their claim that in this so-called pre-existence, mankind had assisted Him in His creation of the earth. LDS doctrinal writer and member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Bruce McConkie explains:

“That he [Christ] was aided in the creation of this earth by many of the noble and great spirit children of the Father is evident from Abraham’s writings … (POGP, Abraham 3:22-24). Michael (the archangel) or Adam was one of these. Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Peter, James, and John, Joseph Smith, and many other noble and great ones played a part in the great creative enterprise.“ c/f Doctrines of Salvation, Volume 1, pages 74-75 (Mormon Doctrine, page 169, McConkie.)

SALVATION

The LDS Jesus had to earn his own salvation in the same way as Mormons do today:

“Jesus kept the commandments of his Father and thereby worked out his own salvation, and also set an example as to the way and the means whereby all men may be saved.” (Bruce McConkie, The Mortal Messiah, Volume 4, page 434).
(Editor: Mormon salvation is through obedience to LDS laws and ordinances.)

Biblical salvation is all about being saved both from the power and the consequences of sin. But the Christ of the Bible had never, ever sinned. So why does the LDS think He needed salvation? He Himself is salvation. His sinlessness qualified Him to bear the consequences of our sins.

THE BIBLICAL JESUS

The biblical Christ is self-existing. He has always, eternally, existed as God (John 1:1, John 14:9-10). He has God’s attributes (Hebrews 1:3). He is both the creator of life and the giver of eternal life (John 4:14). He created the universe and everything that is in it. So it is subject to Him. And He is worshipped by Christians as the second person of the Trinity. (There is a link to an article on Understanding the Trinity at the bottom of this page.)

No Jew would ever bow down to and reverence anyone other than God:

“And all the king’s servants, that were in the king’s gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence. Then the king’s servants, which were in the king’s gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king’s commandment? Now it came to pass, when they spake daily unto him, and he hearkened not unto them, that they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai’s matters would stand: for he had told them that he was a Jew.” (Esther 3:2-4, KJV)

Yet after His resurrection Christ’s Jewish disciples and the membership of the early church looked upon Him as deity, prayed to Him and worshipped Him:

“And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.” (Matthew 28:9, KJV)
“Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” (John 20:28-29, KJV)
“And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” (Acts 7:59-60, KJV)

The Jesus Christ in whom Mormons believe differs radically from the biblical, historical Christ. And contrary to the example of members of the primitive church, they are taught never to pray to Him, or to honour Him as God.

The following links leads to articles that have a bearing on the above discussion:

This site is dedicated to helping Mormons understand the Bible.

Copyright © 2013 by Yvonne Gibbs. All rights reserved.

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