Provided by Kurt Van Gorden of Jude 3 Missions
PO Box 780, Victorville, CA 92393-0780
FREEDOM OF RELIGION
One of the greatest freedoms we have in the United States is the freedom of religion--the right to worship and practice our beliefs according to the dictates of our own conscience. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon Church) has exercised this freedom in their Scripture, theology, and practice. Let us examine these areas of Mormonism in contrast to biblical Christianity.
Freedom to Believe in Scripture
The Mormon Church has exercised its freedom of believing in new Scripture by adding several books to the Bible. Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church, added three new scriptures since 1830.[i] Not satisfied with new Scripture alone, Joseph Smith also translated the Bible through the “gift and power of God,” producing 3,410 changes, including additional verses that prophesied of his work with the Book of Mormon. Mormons believe these changes “restored” the Bible to its original condition.[ii] Some of Smith’s changes appear in the footnotes of the LDS edition of the Bible.[iii]
Biblical Christians exercise the freedom of religion by trusting the Bible as God's only faithful and authoritative communication to mankind.[iv] Christians believe that only liars change God’s Word, as God said, “Add thou not to his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”[v] While Joseph Smith was free to change the Bible, Christians are also free to tell Mormons that there is no support from the Hebrew or Greek texts for Joseph Smith’s changes.
Freedom to Believe in God
Christians have exercised their freedom to believe that God spoke clearly
about Himself in the Bible. When
God said that He is the ONLY GOD existing, then that means there are no other
“gods” in Heaven.[xiv]
Scripture also tells us that there are Three distinct Persons as the
The Father is God,[xvi]
the Son is God,[xvii] the Holy Spirit is God,[xviii]
and yet there is One God, not three gods as Mormons believe.[xix]
The Bible teaches us One God in Three Persons.[xx]
Since there is only One God, men cannot become gods, as Mormons also
The Bible says that God is eternal,[xxii]
invisible,[xxiii] and Spirit.[xxiv] God
the Son loved mankind enough that He took on human flesh, as Jesus Christ, and
died for the sins of the world.[xxv]
He entered this world through the miracle of the Holy Spirit
and not by Mary’s relationship, as a wife-partner of an exalted god-man.[xxvii]
The Mormon Church exercises its freedom to believe that Adam fell “upward,”[xxviii] and that the human race will not be judged for bearing Adam’s guilt. They are free to believe that there are certain sins that the blood of Christ cannot cleanse, such as adultery, breaking temple covenants, and murder.[xxix] They believe that God's grace provides everyone a resurrected body,[xxx] but to gain celestial degrees in Heaven, one must do “temple work” on earth.[xxxi]
Christians have the freedom to believe the Bible when it says that if anyone
desires to come to Jesus for forgiveness, he will not be cast aside.[xxxii]
Jesus provided a complete Atonement covering all sins we commit.[xxxiii]
The Bible tells us that if we repent by turning away from our past and
believe upon Jesus, He will forgive us freely by His grace, not by our works.
Nothing we do can improve upon God's plan and Jesus’ atoning work for
Good works will not earn for us forgiveness of our past sins nor do they
instill righteousness. Good works can only testify of our faith, but not produce
exaltation or degrees in heaven. Only
by trusting Jesus can we be sure of our salvation.[xxxv]
can have perfect freedom now! You
can invite the True Jesus, the one spoken of in the Bible to become your Lord
and Savior through placing faith in Him, His work, and His resurrection.
Why not pray and ask Him to forgive you of your sins today?
The Bible says, “That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord
Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead,
then you shall be saved” (Romans 10:9).
Trust Jesus for your eternal life today!
Written by Kurt Van Gorden. Copyright 1988, 2000.
This edition published by permission of Jude 3 Missions,PO Box 780, Victorville, CA 92393-0780
The original 1830 Book of Mormon said “Joseph Smith, Jr., author and
proprietor.” All but four of 140
sections of the Doctrine and Covenants bear Smith’s name.
The Pearl of Great Price was penned by Smith. .
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