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References: Mormon vs Biblical Teachings about Man

Bible quotations are from the New American Standard version. For information on sources of Mormon quotations, see the section titled "Mormon Documents".

1. The Mormon church teaches that man was a pre-existent spirit and that mankind is of the same species as God. Our origin is supposed to have been as procreated children of God, born as spirits in some other realm. In that spirit world existence we progressed as far as was possible, but to become truly like our Heavenly Father we needed to obtain physical bodies. We also needed to learn the difference between good and evil. Since our Heavenly Father has progressed so far that He cannot allow evil into His presence, it was necessary for us to leave Him for some place where we could encounter and overcome evil ourselves:

So, according to Mormon teaching, this world was prepared as a school, where we have been sent to obtain physical bodies and to learn the lessons of mortality:

According to Mormon teaching, two of man's older brothers, Jesus and his spirit brother Lucifer, both wanted to be savior. When Jesus was chosen, Lucifer rebelled and convinced one third of the spririt brothers to fight with him and revolt. All pre-mortal humans participated in this war. Those who fought on the side of Lucifer became the demons. Those who fought most valiantly on the side of Jesus and Elohim were born in Mormon families.

Milton R. Hunter summarized this doctrine by stating that "we are as eternal as God Himself. But to achieve perfection and godhood, we must go through at least four stages of life: In the first stage each of us were conscious eternally existing beings called 'intelligences'. In that realm, we experienced good and evil, love and hate, free agency and so on until we had completed our work there" (The Gospel Trough the Ages, pp. 126-129).


2. The Bible clearly teaches that God created Adam, the first man, and all other men after him. This is in direct contrast with the Mormon teaching that man had a pre-existent life before being put on this earth.

The Mormon doctrine about pre-existent spirits is linked to their teaching about eternal progression. The argument goes like this: 1) Jesus was eternally existent (which is biblical); 2) Jesus progressed from a man to become a god; 3) therefore man must also be eternally existent if he can progress to become a god.


3. The Mormon church teaches that God, men, angels, and devils, are of the same nature, but at different levels of progression (Mormon Doctrine p.238-239, 192-195; Gospel Principles p.9; Gospel Through the Ages p.15; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith p.345, 346, 370). For example:

The Mormon church also teaches that man may progress to become a god. Therefore, they also teach that "God was once a man who achieved godhood". In Mormon theology, those who achieve godhood will have spirit children who will worship and pray to them just as we worship and pray to God the Father (Gospel Principles, p.290). This has been taught by a large number of prominent LDS leaders, including its founders:

For more complete coverage of this doctrine, refer to the section on eternal progression.


4. The Bible teaches that God, men and angels are separate beings of different nature.

According to the Bible, men and angels are created whereas God existed from eternity. Therefore the idea of men turning into angels has no biblical support. The Bible declares that angels are a distinct creation of God; in other words, an angel was created as such, and is not a being that has undergone some sort of spiritual development or physical evolution.


5. Mormon doctrine teaches that Adam's fall was a 'fall upward' and it was not sinful.

Mormonism maintains that Adam's sin was necessary for the propagation of the human race: As Mormon scriptures state:

Mormon writers explain:

Is this Mormon teaching inconsequentially different from Paul the Apostle's exposition in Romans 5:12-21? No:


6. The Bible teaches that Adam's sin caused spiritual and physical death for all men:

Man has been punished because he thought he could make himself to be like God: Ez 28:1-10:

Man's sin was not the result of the plan of God:


7. The Mormon church teaches that man can marry for eternity and has the potential to rule over a planet of his own spirit children. One of the requirements to reach this goal is what Mormons call "celestial marriage.

Today celestial marriage is simply defined as a marriage in a Mormon temple designed to last not just until death but throughout all eternity. Couples joined in such marriages are considered "sealed" to each other. Their children afterward are automatically "sealed" to them as well. This, they believe, ensures that their family will continue in heaven eternally as a complete unit. Those who become Gods will each have his own world and with his wife (wives?) procreate spirits who will be raised to maturity and go into bodies on the new world. These new people will worship those who procreated their spirits, in the same way we worship God the Father. (in Gospel Principles, 1986 ed. pp. 9, 190-191 and older editions).

Of course, this Mormon view of 'eternal life' is only available to those whose marriage is sealed in a Mormon Temple, who perform Temple ordinances, etc. and eventually reach the celestial kingdom.


8. The Bible does not teach that man can be married for eternity; nor is earthly marriage connected with salvation.

While the Bible teaches that it is good for man to marry (Gen. 2:24, 1 Cor. 7:2,9), it is not a requirement for salvation, nor is marriage designed to last for all eternity:

At face value and according to historically interpretation, Jesus appears to be saying that heaven will be much different than life as we know it on earth.

Mormon leaders have interpreted this passage quite differently:

According to the Bible, in heaven Christ is married to his church collectively and perhaps individually. This seems to be why there is no marriage between men and women:


9. Mormon leaders have taught that polygamy is a righteous principle and even that its practice is necessary to attain the highest level of heaven. They justify this doctrine in part on the observation that in the Old Testament both unbelievers (i.e. Lemech, the son of Cain, and Belshazzar, the king of Babylon) and believers (i.e. Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon) were known polygamists.

While a Mormon might be excommunicated for practicing polygamy today, the command to engage in plural marriage is still included in modern editions of the Doctrine and Covenants. Section 132:4 declares: "For behold, I reveal unto you a new and everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory."

This doctrine has been downplayed by recent church leaders but its stated requirement for exaltation by the LDS founders can be well documented.


10. The Bible teaches that plural marriage is an abomination to God.

The clearest Biblical statement on polygamy condemns it as an abomination:

Although there are examples of men who practiced polygamy in the Old Testament, it is extremely important to note that polygamy was merely tolerated by God, but never commanded or even endorsed by Him.

In the Bible, polygamy is treated the same as divorce:


11. The Mormon churches teaches that it has been uniquely entrusted with administration of the priesthood. One of the unique doctrines of the Mormon church is its exclusive claim to the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods.The priesthood is held by most male members 12 years and older. The Aaronic Priesthood was allegedly given to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery by John the Baptist on May 15, 1829, and before August 1830 they received the Melchizedek Priesthood from Apostles Peter, James and John.

The structure of the LDS church is as follows: The first presidency (the prophet/president and his counselors) along with the men who are under them are called the General Authorities. Each gets his authority for assigned responsibilities from the president/prophet while he is living. The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, twelve men, just under the Prophet, also have the same authority and "keys" as the President, but can only partially use them as authorized by the President.

When the priesthood was allegedly restored to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery it was done by Peter, James and John, three of the apostles. Mormons maintain that the Apostle John is the only apostle, of the original twelve, left on earth. According to Mormonism John was to live until the Lord came (Doctrine and Covenants section 7). Mormons also cite the gospel of John as saying John would never die:

Of course, John himself denies this in the next verse:

The Mormons claim that, because John had all the "keys" (all authority), he could appoint and ordain new apostles and keep the Lord's church going on earth.Thus, holding the Aaronic and Melchezidek priesthood is their authority from God to act in his name and do his work. The LDS church maintains that Jesus gave the 12 apostles the authority to baptize but that Jesus did not give them the authority to pass on that authority to others. Thus, they teach that Christians lost their authority to baptize until the time when the priesthood was restored to Joseph Smith.

This Mormon doctrine is closely related to their teaching that the Christian church went through a great apostasy following the death of the original apostles (except John).


12. The Bible says that Jesus Christ has superceded all Old Testament priesthoods.

The authority claimed by the Mormon Church through an "Aaronic Priesthood," cannot be valid since Jesus abolished this priesthood when He took its place (Hebrews 7:11-19, 8:6-13). Likewise, the "Melchizedek Priesthood" never existed as any operative "priesthood", even in Old Testament times. No priestly succession is mentioned. Jesus is our only High Priest and He alone holds this permanently (Hebrews 7:15-28, 9:11-15).

Why is the idea of priests and priesthood important?

Here is what the Bible says about the uniqueness of Jesus' priesthood:

Jesus was not merely another in succession of priests, but His priesthood was unique. There had not been one like it before, and there will not be one like it again. His priesthood is the climax and culmination of priesthood before God.

Why was Jesus' priesthood unique? According to the Bible:

Furthermore, the Bible states that all Christians are now priests:

The believer-as-a-priest concept is important because in other religions and in many cults a priest serves as an essential intermediary between man and God. A fundamental uniqueness of Christianity is that Jesus abolished this:


13. Mormons teach that all men are children of God, hence there is a general salvation.

"All men and women are...literally sons and daughters of Deity" (Gospel Principles, p. 11).

This doctrine is related to other Mormon teachings that claim:


14. The Bible teaches that one becomes a child of God only through faith in Christ Jesus.

The Mormon teaching that all men are children of God contradicts the clear teaching of the Bible that all men are inherently sinful and in need of redemption:

If all men are by nature children of God as Mormon teaching suggests, then why, according to the Bible, must everyone who comes to Christ be transformed by God into a new creation with a new heart?

In the Bible, becoming a child of God is intimately linked with placing our total trust in Him for salvation. This is not something that happens to everyone but is clearly conditional:


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