Truth is not only
violated by falsehood;
it may be equally
outraged by silence.
Joseph Smith maintained that after the death of Christ’s apostles, the church had fallen into total apostasy. He also claimed that the Bible had been incorrectly translated and that large sections had been removed. And he declared that God had instructed him, as His latter-day prophet, to restore the true gospel to the earth. In 1830 he founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (known as the LDS).
Mormonism is based upon their law of eternal progression, which states that all living beings originated from intelligent matter and possess the ability to progress eternally. Consequently, the difference between God, mankind and the angelic beings depends upon how far they have progressed at this moment in time.
Because Mormon doctrines are all based on eternal progression, their teachings on God, Christ, mankind, the fall and salvation differ radically from those of the Bible. However, they use biblical terminology (to which they have applied their own, exclusive meanings). So it is all too easy to gain the mistaken impression that Mormonism is biblical.
Although Mormons use the KJV Bible, they gauge its accuracy or otherwise by comparing it with their own scriptures and teachings, which are their standard of truth. (This tells us that they read the Bible with a jaundiced eye). Their exclusive scriptures are the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price.
The LDS is secretive about their doctrines, temple practices so on, and uses all sorts of ploys to avoid disclosure to non-members. Their excuse is that folk aren’t ready for the meat and must be given milk. Their missionaries are taught to change the subject to Joseph Smith’s first vision, should those they are visiting question them about their exclusive doctrines. (These are only revealed after folk have been baptized into membership of the LDS, and then in a carefully planned and systematic manner.)
It has always been the practice of the LDS to sanitize both their records and their history, in order to present their church in the best possible light. And although they originally made a big thing of God having told Joseph Smith that the teachings of the Christian church were an abomination in His sight, they are now claiming to be a Christian denomination (c/f The LDS’s Claim to be a Christian Denomination.)
Mormons are taught to gain a testimony of the truthfulness of their religion right from the very start, through their feelings (c/f The Mormon Testimony and Its Purpose).
Mormonism is family oriented, and LDS members are exhorted to have large families.
Tithing is mandatory and is one of the requirements for full personal salvation. Once a year each member is required to personally meet with his Bishop to declare his tithing status and ensure that his donations record is correct. However, on their side the LDS is secretive about their finances. Not even their own membership is allowed access to their records. In 1997 Time Magazine ran an article that estimated the LDS’s American assets alone to be somewhere in the region of $30 billion.
With few exceptions the LDS ministry is unpaid. So members are required to serve their church sacrificially, and to attend all meetings and functions.
Young Mormon men are expected to serve on the mission field for two years directly after they finish their schooling. During this period they are supported financially by their parents.
The following articles will tell you more about the basic teachings of Mormonism. But if you have any queries that have not been addressed, please feel free to email this website.
This site is dedicated to helping Mormons understand the Bible.
Copyright © 2013 by Yvonne Gibbs. All rights reserved.