Are Mormons Christian?
Our desire within this blog is to answer the most common questions being asked within our community. Today, we’ll address one of the most common questions we hear – are Mormons Christian?
There are many denominations or groups within Christianity – Baptist, Presbyterian, Wesleyan, Lutheran, Non-Denominational, etc. – all of which hold true to the Basic Christian Beliefs. Below, we’ll review Mormonism’s beliefs in four of these key areas and determine if doctrinally, it falls within the bounds of Christianity.
Christianity vs Mormonism Differences
On the surface, it seems like a “no-brainer” that Mormonism would be considered Christian, as the official name of the Church includes “Jesus Christ”. Also, one of Mormonism’s four scriptures is the Bible. So how exactly does Mormonism differ from Christianity?
Let’s review the Mormon churches’ teachings and beliefs regarding four of the core beliefs of Christianity.
One God - The Bible teaches that there is only one true God. This is a foundational belief of Christianity. Mormonism teaches that God was once a man and has eternally progressed to God[a]. The following quote is often recited by members of the LDS church – “As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man may be.” Mormons also believe that they too can progress to become a God themselves one day.[b]
Do Mormons Trust in the Bible?
The Bible – Christians believe that the Bible is God’s Word and the primary way in which He has revealed Himself to all people. Mormonism has 4 scriptures – The Book of Mormon, Doctrines and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, and the Bible. While many well-meaning Mormons believe the three extra-biblical books don’t contradict the Bible, however, this is clearly not the case when you compare the writings in all four. When contradictions occur, members of the LDS Church will say “the Bible is correct as to which it is accurately translated.”[c] This is a nice way of saying that when contradictions come up, it’s because the bible hasn’t been correctly translated over the past 2,000 years. (If you’re wondering whether or not the Bible can be trusted, you can check out more info in the video “The Bible Explored: Can I Trust the Bible?” here)
Mormon View of Jesus
Christians hold true to the belief that Jesus is both fully God and fully man. The Bible also teaches that Jesus has always existed and created all things – clearly stated in John 1[e]. The doctrines of Mormonism teach that Jesus was not always God, but rather a man, who later became a God.[f] Mormons also believe that Jesus is not the creator of all things, as he has not always existed. All that said, Mormons revere Jesus and his teachings; however, the nature the Mormon Jesus is distinctly different than the Jesus of the Bible.
Christians believe that we are saved “by grace through faith”. In other words, we are 100% saved, by trusting Jesus took the punishment we deserve on the cross. Our “good works” will never be enough to save us, but rather are out of a response of gratitude to being saved by Jesus’ sacrifice for us. While Mormons believe that Jesus’ sacrifice is essential for salvation, they also believe we have to do our part as well. 2 Nephi 25:23 in the Book of Mormon says, “For we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all that we can do?”. This may seem like a subtle difference; however, this is a key difference in belief from Bible-based Christianity. This makes Jesus’ sacrifice insufficient and places the weight of salvation on the person, instead of Jesus.
All of these things considered, we believe that Christianity rests on key beliefs taught throughout the Bible – as described above, and the teachings of the LDS church do not agree with or teach the same beliefs as traditional Christianity. As a local Christian Church in Herriman, UT, we would love to walk through any further questions you may have on this or other important topics. We hope you’ll join us on Sunday mornings as we study the Bible and worship Jesus together. If you are not quite ready or able to attend services in person (some reading this may live outside the greater Salt Lake City area), we understand, but want you to feel free to check out our Bible teaching messages here. We hope this has been a helpful resource for you!
If you have any further questions feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
[a] https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/bc/content/shared/content/images/gospel-library/manual/PD10052298/king-follett-discourse-excerpts_1440561_prt.pdf [b] https://www.mrm.org/become-a-god [c] https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/friend/2011/08/article-of-faith-8?lang=eng [d] https://www.awakenslc.com/questions-doubts
[e] https://my.bible.com/bible/59/JHN.1.esv [f] https://www.mrm.org/become-a-god