MORMON versus CHRISTIANITY
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.

1.   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.

2.   Freedom to Believe in God  
The Mormon Church has exercised its freedom to believe in many gods.[vi]  The Father-God taught by Joseph Smith was born as a man,[vii] was married, and now dwells with his wife in heaven.[viii]  These gods Smith taught (Father and Mother) gave birth to many spirit children, among whom were Jesus,[ix] Lucifer,[x] and the Holy Ghost.[xi]  The Mormons also freely believe that Jesus was born on earth through a natural, physical, husband-wife relationship between Heavenly Father and Mary, the mother of Jesus.[xii]  Mormons also believe that all faithful members have the potential of becoming gods themselves, like they believe the Father did in his exhalation as a man.[xiii]

Biblical 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 One God.[xv]  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 teach.[xxi]  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 overshadowing Mary,[xxvi] and not by Mary’s relationship, as a wife-partner of an exalted god-man.[xxvii]  

3.   Freedom to Believe in a Plan of Salvation  
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]  

Biblical 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 our salvation.[xxxiv]  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]

You 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!

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Written by Kurt Van Gorden.  Copyright 1988, 2000.
This edition published by permission of Jude 3 Missions,PO Box 780, Victorville, CA 92393-0780
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[1].   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.  
[2].   R. J. Matthews, in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 2:763.       [3].   John 1:1-14.  
[4].   A good defense for biblical authority is Josh McDowell’s Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Nelson, 1998).  
[5].   Proverbs 30:5-6.    [6].   Doctrine and Covenants 121:32.    [7].   D & C 130:22; Pratt, The Seer, p. 132.  
[8].  J. Talmage, Articles of Faith, p. 443; Pratt, The Seer, p. 158.    [9].   Articles of Faith, p. 472.  
[10].  M. Hunter, Gospel Through the Ages, p. 15.    [11].   Journal of Discourses, 5:179.  
[12].   Articles of Faith, p. 473; Journal of Discourses, 1:51; 11:268.    [13].   D. & C. 76:56-58.    [14].   Isaiah 43:10.
[15].   Matthew 28:19.     [16].   Romans 1:7.    [17].   John 20:28.     [18].   Acts 5:3,4.     [19].   Deuteronomy 6:4. 
[20].   Matthew 28:19.  [21].   Isaiah 44:8.    [22].   Deuteronomy. 33:27.     [23].   Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 11:27.  
[24].   John 4:24; 2 Corinthians 3:17.    [25].   Philippians 2:6-8.    [26].   Luke 1:35.     [27].   Luke 1:34.  
[28].   Deseret News, Church News, 7/31/65, P. 7.    [29].   J. F. Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:135.  
[30].   B. R. McConkie, What the Mormons Think of Christ, p. 28.     [31].   B. R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 779-780.     [32].  John 6:37.     [33].  1 John 1:1; Revelation 1:5.    [34].   Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:8-10.  
[35].   John 1:12; Acts 4:12.

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