What is Mormonism?

Question
Is Mormonism a cult?
Answer
Yes, theologically speaking, Mormonism is a cult. There is much that is taught within Mormonism that is not consistent with the Holy Scriptures.

1. Mormonism: When referring to the God of the universe they claim there are many gods:

There are many gods, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 163).

"And they (the Gods) said: Let there be light: and there was light," (Book of Abraham 4:3).

Christianity and the Bible: There is only one God (Deut. 6:4; Isa. 43:10; 45:5; 46:9; 1Tim. 2:5) in three persons (Doctrine of the Trinity).

2. Mormonism: God the Father is an exalted man with a body of flesh and bones.

"God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man...I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in a form-like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man"( Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 1973 ed., p. 346).

"The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's; the Son also." (D & C 130:22).

Christianity and the Bible: God the Father is not a man (Num. 23:19; 1Sam. 15:29; Hos. 11:9). God the Father, the eternal God is Spirit (John 4:24, etc.).

3. Mormonism: God the Father has a wife, through whom he procreates spirit children.

"Implicit in the Christian verity that all men are the spirit children of an Eternal Father is the usually unspoken truth that they are also the offspring of an Eternal Mother. An exalted and glorified Man of Holiness (Moses 6:57) could not be a Father unless a Woman of like glory, perfection, and holiness was associated with him as a Mother" (Mormon Doctrine, 1977 ed., p. 516).

Christianity and the Bible: God created man in his own image (Gen. 1:27) out of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (Gen. 2:7) - not from some "Eternal Mother."

4. Mormonism: The Fall of man was not through sin.

Death and sin came through the fall of Adam and Eve. But their deed was not actually a "sin." (Articles of Faith, p. 476).

Christianity and the Bible: The fall of man was through sin (Gen. 3; Rom. 5:12).

5. Mormonism: Universalism and the salvation of all men.

"Redemption from death, through the sufferings of Christ, is for all men, both the righteous and the wicked" (Mormon Doctrine, 1977, p. 65).

Christianity and the Bible: The elect go to heaven and everyone else goes to hell (Matt. 25:31-46).

6. Mormonism: Man is not saved by the grace of God.

"One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved alone by the grace of God; that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation," (Miracle of Forgiveness, Spencer W. Kimball, p. 206).

Christianity and the Bible: The elect are saved by grace alone (Eph. 2:8-10).

7. Mormonism: Jesus.

Jesus and Satan are spirit brothers and we were all born as siblings in heaven to them both, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 163; Gospel Through the Ages, p. 15).

Jesus' sacrifice was not able to cleanse us from all our sins; murder and repeated adultery are exceptions. (Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, 1856, p. 247).

Christianity and the Bible: Jesus is the Son of God (Matt. 15:15-17) and Satan is a fallen angel (Ezek.28:12-14; Matt. 25:41). Christ's sacrifice is sufficient for ALL the sins of His elect (Isaiah 53).

Mormons embrace numerous other false beliefs that cannot be addressed in the space of this brief answer. Please see the references below for further information.

References

[1] John R. Farkas and David Reed, A., Mormonism: Changes, Contradictions, and Errors, electronic ed., 39 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1997, c1995).
[2] David A. Reed and John Farkas, R., Mormons : Answered Verse by Verse, electronic ed., 3 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1997, c1992).
[3] David A. Reed and John R. Farkas, How to Rescue Your Loved One from Mormonism, electronic ed., 9 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1997, c1994).

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Audio Seminar:

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, by John McWilliams

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (IIIM).