Vocabulary gap between Christianity and Mormonism


Although Christianity and Mormonism use many of the same theological phrases, their meaning is often vastly different. To demonstrate how far Mormon teaching is outside biblical Christianity, Bill McKeever, founder of the Utah-based Mormon Research Ministry has developed a terminology list showing the differences in belief. The entire list, and myriad other resources, can be found online at www.mrm.org.

LDS: Father and Son are resurrected men with physical bodies. The Holy Ghost is a separate man with a spiritual body. Three totally separate Gods. God is married. Other Gods for other worlds. (D&C 130:22; Teachings, pp. 345-346, pp. 370-373; Doctrines of Salvation, v.1, p. 10-12)

BIBLE: God is not a man. (Num. 23:19) He has always been God. (Psa. 90:2; Mal. 3:6; Hab. 1:12; Rom. 1:22-25) Only one God. (Isa. 43:10-11; 44:6; 45:21-22) Father is Spirit and invisible. (John 4:24; 1 Tim. 1:17)

LDS: Literally our elder brother, born to Heavenly Parents in the premortal life. Jesus, Lucifer and humans are all the same species and are brothers and sisters. (Gospel Principles pp. 11, 17, 18)

BIBLE: Fully God, not a subordinate deity. Eternal. (Isa. 9:6; John 8:58; 1 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 13:8; John 1:1-4, 14; Col. 1:16-17)

LDS: Specific acts, not man's basic nature. Must know act is wrong to be a sin. (Mormon Doctrine, pp. 550, 735-736)

BIBLE: We are in spiritual rebellion until conversion. (Eph. 2:3; Rom. 5:6) We do not just commit sins; we are basically sinful. (Matt. 1:21; Jer. 17:9; Luke 5:32)

LDS: Granted at end of process of repentance and reformed behavior (Mormon Doctrine, p. 292-298; Gospel Principles, pp. 75-77, p. 123; Doctrine of Salvation, Vol. 1, p. 133-134)

BIBLE: Complete forgiveness granted the moment we turn to Christ. (Mark 2:5; Col. 2:13-14; Eph. 1:6-7)

LDS: Believe Christ's death brought release from grave and universal resurrection. Salvation by grace is universal resurrection. Beyond this, man must earn his place in heaven. Saved by grace after all we can do. (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 25:23; Mormon Doctrine pp. 669-671)

BIBLE: Salvation is not limited to universal resurrection but gift of God to those who believe. (Rom. 1:16; Heb. 9:28; Eph. 2:8-9)

LDS: We were all born in heaven, prior to earth, as literal spirit children of God and his wife. (Mormon Doctrine, pp. 589-590)

BIBLE: Spiritually adopted at conversion. (John 1:12; Gal. 3:26)

LDS: Divided into three kingdoms—Celestial, Terrestrial and Telestial. A place for almost everyone. (D&C 88:16-20; Misuse of 1 Cor. 15:40-41)

BIBLE: Only mentions two conditions—everlasting punishment or eternal life. (Matt. 25:31-46; 2 Thess. 1:7-10)

LDS references used to compile this list: Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R. McConkie, 1979, Doctrines of Salvation by Joseph Fielding Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith by Joseph Fielding Smith and Gospel Principles, published by LDS Church, 1995

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