There are beliefs. And then there are strange beliefs.
But if you’ve been wondering where the strangest, weirdest, most cringeworthy beliefs can be found, it’s hard to not think of the crazy religious beliefs that came from Mormon founder Joseph Smith.
And they’re really good people.
But once you find out what Mormons believe, you can see what it looks like when a religious group puts another ‘holy book’ above the word of God in the Holy Bible.
Mormons are officially known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or LDS for short.
They read the Bible just as Christians do. But they also have these other books of LDS scripture they read.
And when you dig deep, you find that they place these different texts ahead of the Bible in their belief system.
So when they read the Bible, it has a different meaning to them. This affects Mormon beliefs about marriage, Jesus and some other things.
These beliefs come from the Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, Doctrine and Covenants and the other sayings of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and other founders of the Church of the Latter Day Saints.
Let’s take a look together and see how weird it can get!
The Holy Bible is not the Word of God
Latter Day Saints do not believe that the Holy Bible is the true, inspired, inerrant Word of God. And they say so right here at the official LDS website:
“While we do not believe the Bible to be inerrant, complete or the final word of God, we accept the essential details of the Gospels…”
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness 2 Timothy 3:16, ESV
The Christian Church is Corrupted
Latter Day Saints believe that the Christian church declined shortly after the deaths of the Apostles and became hopelessly lost.
Joseph Smith said that he asked God to show him a church to join and God’s answer was that the creeds of the Christian Denominations were all corrupted, so he should start his own.
While I was able to locate the quote from the good folks at Fair Latter Day Saints, I wasn’t able to find out which specific creeds God told Joseph Smith were corrupted.
But Jesus Christ himself says;
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18
In this passage, Jesus is prophesying that his church will stand like a rock. And it has done so for 2000 years. And counting.
The Book of Mormon Contradicts the Bible
The Book of Mormon contradicts the Bible many, many times.
Beginning with Jesus Christ.
According to the Christian Bible, Jesus is God “who is, who was and who is to come.” (Revelation 1:8) He is without beginning or end.
Jesus said “before Abraham was, I Am” (John 8:58). He made Many Blatant Claims to be God (see my post) and he proved -over and over- that he is God.
LDS books say that Jesus Christ was God-the Father’s first creation. But according to the Bible, Jesus Christ is the Creator (John 1:1, Colossians 1:16, Hebrews 1:8)
But of the Son he says, Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. Hebrews 1:8, ESV
Remember that when Jesus Christ came to earth as a man he was God Incarnate –Immanuel- God with us.
Jesus Is the Spirit Brother of Lucifer
Here’s where LDS people confirm it.
But, as you will see below, the Bible proclaims that Jesus Christ is the Creator of all things. Since Lucifer is a created being, that means Jesus Christ created Lucifer.
I’m pretty sure that if you create something, it would be pretty hard for it to be your brother.
Jesus Was Created by God the Father
Yes folks. The Book of Mormon says (see above) Jesus was God’s first creation. But according to Colossians 1:16, Jesus Christ created all things in heaven and earth!
Yes, Jesus Christ is the Creator. Not only that, but Jesus was there at the beginning! (John 1:1)
How could he be at the Beginning and also be created by the Heavenly Father?
This is easy to answer. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all Eternal God.
All three Persons are self-existent. This means they never came into existence.
They did not need to come into existence because they always were. (and always will be)
As Man Is, God Once Was
God was once a man who achieved godhood by…good works.
Here’s how it is said among the LDS faithful at the official church website: “as man is -God once was- and -as God is- man may become.”
But the Bible says in Malachi 3:6a “For I the Lord do not change” and in Revelation 1:8 he says ““I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
In fact, godhood is what the serpent promised Eve in Genesis when he said, in part “you will be like God.” (See Genesis 3:5)
Do you want to follow a religion that says you should repeat the same mistake Adam and Eve made in Eden? Not me!
The Mormon Trinity
Latter Day Saints believe the Trinity is three separate Gods. What does the Bible say?
The Bible teaches that there is one true God from the very first verse of the Bible when it says “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
But in the original Hebrew, it’s worded in a very peculiar way. It uses a complex singular form of “God” indicating a sense of oneness and a sense of plurality all at the same time.
I plan to cover it in detail sometime in another post. But meanwhile, here’s a very good post about the Biblical Trinity. The trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost has been a solid Christian doctrine for 2000 years and counting.
The Bible teaches the Trinity all the way from Genesis-to-Revelation. It is a very solid doctrine that has been studied and argued and proven for at least 2000 years.
Brilliant scholarship has been done on it.
But about all you get out of the LDS folks is that they just can’t see how there could be such a thing.
Baptism for the Dead
Baptism for the Dead has never been part of Christian doctrine.
And I wrote a whole post on it where I clarify the meaning of the only Bible passage that even mentions it. Here’s where you can read about how the Bible clearly says it is not an acceptable practice.
But LDS folks take their misunderstanding of this verse and build a whole Mormon doctrine around it.
These good people have invested so much in this practice that they have become world leaders in genealogical records.
At least I know who to contact when I want to research my family tree.
The Temple Garments
Latter Day Saints who undergo the temple sealing ceremony wear special undergarments. They are also known in some circles as Magic Underwear, and here’s a whole article about them.
They say these garments remind them of their commitment to follow Christ and that the garments protect them from harm.
It’s a very curious tradition.
100 years ago, these garments had special Masonic symbols on them, but not anymore. Up until 1990, the Temple Sealing ceremony was almost identical to the first Masonic ceremony.
Wanna know why? The young Joseph Smith was a Freemason who had just gone to get his first Masonic degree, and here’s where the LDS church admits it. You can connect the rest of the dots…
Freemasonry is a Gnostic, Universalistic, Luciferian religion that denies the Godhood of Jesus Christ. Nobody who believes in Jesus Christ should ever be a member of the Masonic Lodge.
And you know what else? Luciferian Freemasonry –like LDS- claims the Christian Church has left people in the dark and that’s why you need them.
A lot of folks are confused about who Lucifer is. Well, the Bible makes it crystal clear who Lucifer is and here’s what I wrote about him.
Ancient North American Civilizations Visited by Christ
The Book of Mormon claims there were ancient civilizations in North America.
And they believe Jesus Christ came to visit them.
The Mormon Church even commissioned a department of archeology to investigate. They finally shut it down when it became clear that there is no evidence of these civilizations.
Latter Day Saints believe –according to their extra-biblical scriptures- ancient civilizations once existed in North America, but there is no evidence these civilizations ever existed.
No ancient documents. No archaeological finds. No nothing.
Contrast this with the Bible.
Voluminous quantities of artifacts and written records corroborate the true stories of the Bible from the Old Testament and the New Testament -and with amazing detail.
Many people have come to faith in Christ because of these amazing discoveries about the Bible!
But you can’t say that about the LDS books. Here’s where the official Latter Day Saints website admits they can’t back up geographical claims on the American continent made by the Book of Mormon:
“The Church does not take a position on the specific geographic locations of Book of Mormon events in the ancient Americas.”
If the LDS folks in Salt Lake City really believed what the Book of Mormon says happened in the United States, don’t you suppose they would take a position on it? Ouch.
The Burning in the Bosom
Latter Day Saints believe that if you feel the “Burning in the Bosom” that it’s right. Contrast with how the Bible tells us to “search the scriptures” and to be like “Bereans” and know the times as did the sons of Issachar.
Burning in the Bosom is like saying “follow your heart.” But every Bible student knows that:
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9
The Repealed Doctrine of Mormon Polygamy
It’s well-known that polygamy (actually polygyny –plural marriage between one man and his multiple wives) was an official doctrine of the Mormon religion from 1850-1890.
But a surprising fact is that they still believe polygyny (or plural marriage) occurs in heaven. And it is still in the official LDS book of Doctrine and Covenants (see D&C 132)
What’s even worse is that right here at the official Latter Day Saints church website –in a lesson on plural marriage- it says “Marriage between one man and one woman is God’s standard unless He commands otherwise.”
While mainstream Latter Day Saints teach monogamy, a number of LDS splinter groups practice polygyny -and this lesson -together with the doctrine of heavenly polygyny- is all the justification they need for it.
Mormon temple marriages last for eternity. Here’s what the LDS official website says:
“Members of the Church believe that marriages performed in temples are “sealed,” or blessed to last for eternity. The concept that the family unit can continue beyond the grave as a conscious, loving entity, with the marriage partnership and parent-child relationships intact, is a core belief of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
I think Jesus said something about marriage, didn’t he?
Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.” Matthew 22:29-30
Lost Sheep of the House of Israel
Did Jesus Christ travel to North America to preach to the lost sheep of the house of Israel? Or did he convene with the Nephites and Native Americans?
Problem is, there’s no record of it. And Jesus had plenty of lost sheep of the house of Israel right inside Israel.
Beginning with the Pharisees.
When Jesus cursed the fig tree, he was effectively saying the entire nation was lost.
As far as we know, the first Jews to arrive on America’s shores did so around AD 1700.
The lack of actual evidence doesn’t stop LDS folks from believing it. Somebody should remind them to search the scriptures like the Bereans did. (see reference below)
The Joseph Smith Translation
You don’t hear about the Joseph Smith Translation too much. And for good reason.
It’s really not a translation. It’s so embarrassing that the church doesn’t even print it. And you aren’t too likely to find it at the local stake.
So what is the Joseph Smith Translation? It’s a version of the King James Translation of the Bible.
Joseph Smith monkeyed around with it and added a few things to give the impression that there were prophesies written in days of old about the special church to come in the Latter Days.
Joseph Smith’s treatment of the Bible sure tells us a thing or two about his personal character, doesn’t it?
If somebody claims they translated the Bible -but analysis shows they just added some new content with the intention of deceiving the reader- I’m not so sure I want to follow a guy like that.
And when you know this much about Joseph Smith, are you really going to believe the Mormon scriptures came to him on gold plates from the angel Moroni? And the gold plates have never been seen again?
I think most LDS church members are sincere, honest folks who want to do what’s right. But the LDS leaders are given far too much credence.
It’s good to remember the lesson of the Bereans:
“The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” Acts 17:10-11, ESV
These believers in Berea searched the Bible daily to verify if the teaching they received was in line with the true Word of God.
This is a lesson we should all take to heart, whether we are of the Christian faith or LDS.