Are Mormons Saved?
I regularly answer questions about the faith from believers here, on social media, in person, and by email. The questions tend to repeat and deal with common issues. So I thought I would post some of them here and provide simple answers for those who don’t have a pastor or person to ask directly.
Are Mormons Christian?
Are Mormons saved?
What about my Mormon friend who are so nice?
It is always hard to deal with this issue in today’s culture. The influence of post-modernism pushes you to say there is no absolute truth in general. Refusal to go along with their absolute truth is deemed hateful and ignorant. Some factions in Christianity try to convince you the same is true in the Church. The Latter Day Saints, as they are formerly known, will add in emotional appeals to sympathy. They say they are just like you and hurt by your lack of love. Charges of being judgmental and legalistic often follow. You can feel like an unloving monster for stating what is abundantly obvious:
No, Mormons are not Christians in any real sense of the word. Their faith is from a false prophet who wrote untrue books with the express purpose of creating a new religion. Joseph Smith radically changed the core beliefs of the faith to suit his own purposes. He did so deliberately to create a new faith because he said Christianity – you and I’s church – failed. There was no real church before Mormonism according to Smith .
The issues involved can be a hard one to firmly grasp for most people. Mormons tend to look like Christians, sound like Christians, share common social views, and argue strongly they are just like you. The more problematic aspects of their theology is also hidden behind double speak and misdirection. The Mormon appeals are meant to confuse you. They are meant to blur the lines between Jesus’ Gospel and Joseph Smith’s.
How do you cut through the veil that obscures this derailed faith? Simple. You let their own theology do the talking. You be a Berean and compare their claims with that of the Holy Word.
This comparison abundantly reveals their faith is not your Christian faith.
Mormon Teachings at a Glance
Joseph Smith had a clear and simple foundation point for the Mormon faith. He said the Christian faith as practiced from just after the Apostles to now is wrong. It is apostate. The Jesus you worship in church is not the right Jesus. The Jesus of the Mormon Church shares a name with the Christian Jesus. He is not the same as the One you believe in, Christian. This not some wild and unfair accusation made against the Mormons. The Mormon’s worshipping another Jesus is a core tenet of their faith. They wont’ tell you as much but it is right in their theology.
Smith also asserted as a core doctrine that your Bible is wrong. He said the Bible as Christians read it and possess it has been altered. It fails to tell the right story, as a result according to the Mormon Church. That correct story is contained in the three sacred books of Mormonism: The Book of Mormon, the Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrines and Covenants. These book don’t just add on to the existing story of the Bible. They supersede it and radically warp the narrative and doctrines contained therein.
Now, the nice missionaries who come to your door will tell you they love the Bible and believe it. They are probably not deliberately being untruthful you. They are misleading you, though, based on Smith’s claims. Mormons do use the Bible but only do so filtered through Joseph Smith, the three Mormon books, the rest of the Mormon Apostles, and Mormon tradition. The Bible is therefore inferior to the other books and authorities. It was regularly changed and redefined by them to suit Mormon doctrine.
You cannot get the Mormon faith from reading the Bible. You can get it if you accept the claim the Bible failed and needed new books and prophets to explain where it failed. This is what Mormons mean when they say they have the same Bible. They bury the “flawed” Bible under 4 other books and many other prophets.
Smith’s rejection of the Bible and creating his own works not surprisingly has a dramatic impact on the Mormon theology. It is completely different than Christian beliefs. It shares some aspects and names, but the actual result is fundamentally not Christianity.
Mormon theology has a Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit. It seems like you have this in common. Yet, through the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith transformed them into gods with entirely different natures. The gods of Mormonism are not One GOD – an essential element of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. These are the monotheistic faiths. Christianity has three persons of the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit who are One God eternal. God said “You shall have no other Gods before me” and “God is One”. This is not what Mormonism teachers or believes.
The Mormon gods are not part of a Trinity. They are 3 out of a plurality of many gods in the universe. Joseph Smith was emphatic that his gods were multiple and each individually god. It gets even more absurd from a Christian perspective. The Mormon church also added a “Holy Mother” god to this group. The reasoning was the “Father” god in Mormonism needed a “Mother” god in heaven to create his spirit children. So, the God of the Bible who created all things out of nothing per the Bible cannot actually do that in the Mormon faith. Plurality means there are multiple gods making Mormonism polytheistic. The Father is claimed to have once been a man on another planet who worked to become god. He is also Adam exalted. Mormons are like that man who became god and can one day become gods as well.
So One God versus many gods. One creator of all things out of nothing versus limited heavenly Father who cannot create and who once was a man. One God eternal greater than anything you can imagine versus just a better version of self, if you try hard enough.
Are the many created gods of Mormonism the same as the One Eternal True God of Christianity?
A Mormon apostle made it very clear in 1997:
“The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak.”
“They speak” in the quote referring to Christians. Your nice Mormon acquaintances will again protest this point made by their own leader, but look at their Jesus:
Jesus is not eternally God in Mormonism. He started off as a spirit created by the Father and Mother. He was just like us and was a spirit brother of Satan and you and I. Jesus is not the Eternal “I AM” of Christianity willing to die for you. He simply volunteered to be Messiah at a divine family meeting. The Holy Spirit did not cause the Virgin Birth for Mary in their faith. An exalted Adam or the Father god had sexual relations with Mary and created baby Jesus. As part of this, Adam or the Father god was married to Mary. God then gave Mary to Joseph as her second husband.
Is this anything like Christian doctrine?
Speaking of marriage, Mormons assert Jesus was not only married but was a polygamist. He had multiple wives. He did this to show that polygamy was God’s plan for man. Though they abandoned the position, their prophets taught that polygamy was required for men to be proper followers of Christ.
“and by marrying many honorable wives himself, show to all future generations that he approved the plurality of Wives under Christian dispensation”.
This was lived out by Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and many other Mormon leaders who had dozens of wives. Some of Joseph Smith’s wives were teenagers or already married to other men. Polygamy, bigamy, and sexual immorality were not just sinful and illegal acts on their part. It was official church doctrine. It was required by their gods as doctrine until it became an impediment to statehood for Utah. It was then quickly discarded. A similar doctrinal change took place in regard to black brothers and sisters of faith. The Mormon Church taught through their prophets that black skin was the Mark of Cain from Genesis. That black people were forever cursed as a result of their skin color. This was gods message to man as recently as the 1970’s. When it became politically inconvenient their god again changed his mind.
Is this anything like Jesus of Christianity? Did Jesus have multiple wives? Was He a spirit brother of Satan?
Smith and his church also created another gospel. It is not the Gospel of grace of Jesus Christ of the Bible. Mormons again will object and claim they believe in salvation by grace through Jesus, so what is the problem?
Theirs is a different Jesus. Theirs is also not actually grace but bondage. Christian salvation grace is a free unearned gift from God given freely and completely at the moment of salvation. It is God reaching down and saving you for no other reason than His Greatness! You can’t earn grace or it is not grace.
The Mormon definition of salvation is “by grace that we are saved, after all we can do,”. Do you see the glaring problem and contradiction right off the bat? It seems like a little thing but it destroys the message of Jesus:
“After all you can do”.
This subtle twisting sets an impossible standard for people. You are a sinner and so am I. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We are dead in our sins and trespasses says the Bible. You and I fail every day.
No one does “all they can do” in a single day much less in life.
This is not grace. If “all they can do” is what is required for salvation, guess who can achieve it? No one. That won’t stop you from trying your hardest to get there, though. The result is a faith that put you on an endless hamster wheel of trying to grasp onto this nebulous standard. It is built on fear and uncertainty. It is a perfect definition for a church that wants to work you to death while pretending to be good news.
Jesus promised if you come to Him, He would give you freely rest. This is grace at work. This is Christian salvation – rest, certainty, and peace freely given. The Mormon gospel is nothing like it.
It is also only through endless work and the Mormon Church that Mormon salvation is possible.
Ever wonder why Mormon’s show up at your door and seem clean cut, nice, and homogeneous? They are on that hamster wheel of trying to reach the vague goal of “all they can do” to be avoid being thrown into the outer darkness.
Synopsis of Mormon Salvation
- You cannot be saved in your sins,
- By grace you are saved, after all you can do,
- You must give your best,
- You must deny yourselves of all ungodliness,
- Turn from all former sins and commit them no more,
- If you commit any past sin again, the former sins return,
- Therefore, in order to remain forgiven you must never commit the sin again,
This is not the Gospel Jesus gave you through the Cross.
The Mormon books create an entirely different story and identity for Jesus. They tell a fantastical story of ancient civilizations in the Americas and Jesus coming to them after His time in Israel. They claim the native Americans are descended from the tribes of Israel. History, DNA evidence, and archeology completely disprove these claims. Smith based these books on his claimed ability as a translator of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Scholars have proven his claim to be false conclusively through the Book of Abraham papyri. The research concludes the documents Smith based a good portion of his faith on were in fact Egyptian funeral rites.
The faith of the Mormon Church is built on these claims. This is the “other Testament of Jesus”. Does this sound anything like the teachings of the Christian Church that have been consistent for 2,000 years?
Why Can’t We All Get Along?
Why am I so Judgmental?
If you are having trouble with this answer, I understand. I would love to give you a different one. The members of that church I have met have generally been nice people. They go to a church and will protest they have “a Jesus” too. The truth can seem unsympathetic. I don’t want to exclude anyone from the faith.
The problem is it is never loving to lie to people. The Bible says love never rejoices in iniquity. The stakes are also huge – eternal life or eternal judgment. Jesus died to get the real Gospel to you. It would be cruel and uncaring to deny the truth. Eternal life is only possible through the one True God, the real Gospel, and the unaltered Jesus. There are no substitutions are not allowed.
Look what Paul wrote to the churches of Galatia when faced with the same issues:
I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:6-9
Accursed is translated from the Greek word “anathema”. It means detested and despised. It is being put under a curse of God and beyond hope of redemption. This is the Bible’s response to any other gospel and any other Jesus. A preacher of a false gospel should be detested and despised by Christians and seen as under a curse from God. They are beyond hope of redemption.
Why is Paul so serious? Why such strong language?
It is right there in Galatians. A false gospel is no gospel at all. The real Gospel is the way for man to be saved. A fake gospel is a lie of Satan leading to death. The real Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. A counterfeit Jesus is not! God doesn’t want that for anyone.
I don’t hate Mormons. I desperately want them to be saved. That can only happen if they let go of the false and seek out the real. They are ensnared by one who is accursed. Only the truth can set them free.
There are No True Churches
Lastly, do you grasp the enormity of Smith’s claim? There were no true churches in the early 1800’s is his reason for Mormonism.
This means the Methodists of John Wesley were apostates. The Baptists were not real Christians. Anglicans, Catholics, Orthodox, and Coptic Christians are all not real Christians as well. John Wycliffe who translated the Bible and died for his faith? Yup, not true Christian worshipping the wrong Jesus. Every church had Jesus, the Gospel, and the Bible all wrong.
Jonathan Edwards, D.L. Moody, Charles Spurgeon, and the great preachers of the time all were teaching false gospels and false Jesus’. Though the Mormon Church avoids and waters down this issue, this is the “why” behind Mormonism.
Why did Smith write the Book of Mormon?
The traditional Christian churches and their doctrine are wrong. They failed completely. Joseph Smith had to create something entirely new to fix it. You are not a true Christian and your church is false, dear reader, as a result. The Jesus of Christianity failed and is apostate Jesus. The claim is stunningly arrogant but true.
More shocking than that, Smith’s premise results in him calling Jesus a liar.
Remember what Jesus told Peter:
And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
Christians may disagree on the identity of the rock. Yet, it is universally agreed Jesus said the gates of Hell will never prevail against God’s church. We may be hard pressed on every side but the Gospel would go forth! Joseph Smith says “Not so much”. He swears that God’s church actually failed after the Apostolic period and remained apostate until he came along. There was no true church so the gates of hell prevailed for more than 1,000 years. Either Jesus did not known what He was saying or Smith was not telling the truth.
Who has it wrong? Jesus or Joseph Smith?
Mormons are not bad people. They are not just human like anyone else. They are able to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ at any time and be saved. But Mormonism is not a denomination. It is not Christianity with a slight difference. It is another faith with another Jesus, another gods, and another gospel…which is no gospel at all.