and why Jesus said to "Beware of false teachers!" We must "test the
spirits to see whether they are from God;" ( 1 John 4:1-3).
Key Person or Founder,
- Biblical Christianity: Jesus Christ. Founded about AD 30-33, in the Judean province of Palestine (Israel today), under the Roman Empire. Followers of Jesus Christ become known as Christians.
- Mormonism: Joseph Smith, Jr. (1805-1844) organized what is now the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) in Salt Lake City, Utah.
- Biblical Christianity: The Bible, written originally in Hebrew and Aramaic (Old Testament), and Greek (New Testament).
- Mormonism: The book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, plus the Bible (KJV or Smith's "Inspired Version") which is seen as less reliable. Authoritative teachings of Mormon prophets and other LDS "general authorities." Ensign and Liahona magazines.
Who is God?
- Biblical Christianity: The one God is Triune (one God in three persons, not three gods): Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Often the title "God" designates the first person, God the Father. God is a spiritual being without a psychical body. He is personal and involved with people. He created the universe out of nothing. He is eternal, changeless, holy, loving, and perfect.
- Mormonism: God the Father was once a man, but "progressed' to godhood. He has a physical body, as does his wife (Heavenly Mother). No Trinity. Father, Son and Holy Ghost are three separate gods. Worthy members may one day become "exalted" to godhood themselves.
Who is Jesus?
- Biblical Christianity: Jesus is God, the second person of the Trinity. As God the Son, he has always existed and was never created. He is fully God and fully man (the two natures joined, not mixed). As the second person of the Trinity, he is coequal with God the Father and the Holy Spirit. In becoming man, he was begotten through the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. Jesus is the only way to the Father, salvation, and eternal life. He died on a cross according to God's plan, as the full sacrifice and payment for our sins. He rose from the dead on the third day, spiritually and psychically immortal. For the next 40 days he was seen by more than 500 eye-witnesses. His wounds were touched and he ate meals. He psychically ascended to heaven. Jesus will return again visibly and psychically at the end of the world to establish God's kingdom and judge the world.
- Mormonism: Jesus is separate god from the Father (Elohim). He was created as a spirit child by the Father and Mother in heaven, and is the "elder brother" of all men and spirit beings (including Lucifer). His body was created through sexual union between Elohim and Mary. Jesus was married. His death on the cross does not provide full atonement for all sin, but does provide everyone with resurrection.
Who is the Holy Spirit?
- Biblical Christianity: The Holy Spirit is God, the third person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is a person, not a force or energy field. He comforts, grieves, reproves, convicts, guides, teaches, and fills Christians. He is not the Father, nor is he the Son, Jesus Christ.
- Mormonism: The "holy spirit" is different from the "Holy Ghost". The "holy spirit" is not God, but is an influence or electricity like emanation from God (or light of Christ).
How to be Saved
- Biblical Christianity: Salvation is by God's grace, not by an individual's good works. Salvation must be received by faith. People must believe in their hearts that Jesus died for their sins and psychically rose again, which is the assurance of forgiveness and resurrection of the body. This is God's loving plan to forgive sinful people.
- Mormonism: Resurrected by grace, but saved (exalted to godhood) by works, including faithfulness to church leaders, Mormon baptism, tithing, ordination, marriage, and secret temple rituals. No eternal life without Mormon membership.
What Happens after Death?
- Biblical Christianity: Believers go to be with Jesus. After death, all people await the final judgement. Both saved and lost people will be resurrected. Those who are saved will live with Jesus in Heaven. Those who are lost will suffer the torment of eternal separation from God (hell). Jesus' bodily resurrection guarantees believer that they, too, will be resurrected and receive new immortal bodies.
- Mormonism: Eventually nearly everyone goes to one of three separate heavenly "kingdoms"with some achieving godhood. Apostates and murders go to "outer darkness."
Other Facts, Beliefs, or Practices
- Biblical Christianity: Group worship, usually in churches. No secret rites. Baptism and Lord's Supper (Communion). Active voluntary missionary efforts. Aid to those in need: the poor, widows, orphans, and downtrodden. Christians believe that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah promised to Israel in the Old Testament (Tanakh). Jesus said his followers would be known by their love for one another.
- Mormonism: Secret temple "endowment" rituals and "celestial marriage" available only to members in good standing. Baptism on behalf of the dead. "Word of Wisdom" prohibits tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine drinks. Two-year missionary proselytizing. Extensive social network. People of African ancestry denied full access to Mormon priesthood and privileges until 1978.