Friday, February 01, 2008

What Mormons Have Really Said About Christianity

In our past presentations, we've briefly highlighted some fundamental doctrinal differences between Mormons and Christians in an effort to show that Mormons are not Christians. We've also briefly looked at what Mormon sources themselves have stated.

Below is a selection of quotes compiled by Bill McKeever. The full text can be found at that link. As you can see, the common claim coming from today's Mormons doesn't exactly add up compared with what their hierarchy has taught. In fact, these claims flatly contradict one commenter's claim that the LDS Church does not criticize other communions and that Jesus welcomes all the faithful alike. Keep these in mind when your friendly neighborhood Mormon missionary shows up at your doorstep or the doorsteps of your friends.

Joseph Smith:
"Will all be damned but Mormons?"

"Yes, and a great portion of them unless they repent and work righteousness" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 119).
From Brigham Young:

"When the light came to me I saw that all the so-called Christian world was grovelling in darkness" (Journal of Discourses 5:73).

"The Christian world, so-called, are heathens as to the knowledge of the salvation of God" (Journal of Discourses 8:171).

"With a regard to true theology, a more ignorant people never lived than the present so-called Christian world" (Journal of Discourses 8:199).

"Should you ask why we differ from other Christians, as they are called, it is simply because they are not Christians as the New Testament defines Christianity" (Journal of Discourses 10:230).

"The religion of God embraces every fact that exists in all the wide arena of nature, while the religions of men consist of theory devoid of fact, or of any true principle of guidance; hence the professing Christian world are like a ship upon a boisterous ocean without rudder, compass, or pilot, and are tossed hither and thither by every wind of doctrine" (Journal of Discourses 10:265).

"... the time came when Paganism was engrafted into Christianity, and at last Christianity was converted into Paganism rather than converting the Pagans" (Journal of Discourses 22:44).

"Brother Taylor has just said that the religions of the day were hatched in hell. The eggs were laid in hell, hatched on its borders, and kicked on to the earth" (Journal of Discourses 6:176).

Orson Pratt, Apostle:
"...all other churches are entirely destitute of all authority from God; and any person who receives Baptism or the Lord's supper from their hands highly offend God, for he looks upon them as the most corrupt of all people ...The only persons among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people who have authority from Jesus Christ to administer any gospel ordinance are those called and authorized among the Latter-day Saints" (The Seer, pg. 255).

"Who is Babylon? I have already explained that Babylon is a great power that should be in the earth under the name of a church, a woman - that generally represents a church - full of blasphemy ...These churches are scattered over the wide face of the earth, and this is called Babylon. Another angel is to follow the one that brings the Gospel, after it has been sufficiently preached, and proclaim the downfall of this great and corrupt power in the earth" (Journal of Discourses 18:179).

"The worshipers of Baal were far more consistent than apostate Christendom; for they had a faint hope that Baal would hear and answer them; but modern divines have no expectation that their God will say anything to them or to their followers. Baal's followers cried from morning until evening for him to give unto them a miraculous manifestation, in the presence of Elijah; but to even expect a supernatural manifestation or revelation now is considered, by modern religionists, as the greatest absurdity. Baal's worshipers, therefore, with all their absurdities, approached nearer the religion of heaven, in some of their expectations, than those who falsely call themselves Christians" (Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, No. 1 (1850), pp.12-13).

Wilford Woodruff:
"I said then, and I say now, may the Lord give me such periods of darkness as were enjoyed by the Apostles and Saints of old, in preference to the Gospel blaze of modern Christianity. The ancient doctrine and power will unlock the mysteries of heaven, and pour forth that Gospel light, knowledge, and truth, of which the heavens are full, and which has been poured out in every generation when Prophets appeared among the children of men. But the Gospel of modern Christendom shuts up the Lord, and stops all communication with Him. I want nothing to do with such a Gospel, I would rather prefer the Gospel of the dark ages, so called" (Journal of Discourses 2:196).
B.H. Roberts:

"This view of God as an incorporeal, immaterial, bodiless, partless, passionless being is now and has been from the days of the great apostasy from God and Christ, in the second and third centuries, the doctrine of Deity generally accepted by apostate Christendom. The simple doctrine of the Christian Godhead, set forth in the New Testament is corrupted by the meaningless jargon of these creeds, and their explanations; and the learned who profess a belief in them are wandering in the darkness of the mysticisms of the old pagan philosophies" (History of the Church, 1:LXXXV).
Bruce McConkie:
"What is the church of the devil in our day, and where is the seat of her power? ...It is all of the systems, both Christian and non-Christian, that perverted the pure and perfect gospel ...It is communism; it is Islam; it is Buddhism; it is modern Christianity in all its parts" (The Millennial Messiah, pp.54-55).

"Christianity is the religion of the Christians. Hence, true and acceptable Christianity is found among the saints who have the fullness of the gospel, and a perverted Christianity holds sway among the so-called Christians of apostate Christendom" (Mormon Doctrine, pg.132).

"Mormonism is Christianity; Christianity is Mormonism; they are one and the same, and they are not to be distinguished from each other in the minutest detail ...Mormons are true Christians; their worship is the pure, unadulterated Christianity authored by Christ and accepted by Peter, James, and John and all the ancient saints" (Mormon Doctrine, pg.513).
So, when your Mormon friends and neighbors make claims about being "just another sort of Christian," my suggestion is that you ask them to explain these comments, for that claim doesn't match these.


  1. Why do you care about the discrepancy between modern lay Mormons and the others? If Mormonism is gravitating towards orthodoxy (for instance becoming more reluctant to say God was a human who had actual intercourse with Mary) and becoming more ecumenical, count it as a blessing and encourage them in their journey towards orthodoxy. What is the point of dredging up stuff they don't believe in anymore? They are becoming ignorant of their roots, but if this is a good thing, why try to stop it?

  2. Why do you care about the discrepancy between modern lay Mormons and the others?

    1. Because, generally speaking, no lay person rises above the level of his ecclesiastical betters.

    2. Because the lay person need to be confronted with this material and asked, "If you disagree, why so? Your church doesn't teach that you have such a right."

    3. Because their claim continues to be "We're just another sort of Christian." This is patently false. If you think it's true, then by all means demonstrate it to be true.

    Have Mormons embraced the Trinity? No

    Have they accepted justification by grace alone through faith alone? No

    Do they still believe these things? Yes, they do. I've interacted with many Mormons, and, yes, contrary to your statements, they are quite comfortable with such statements. What is said in public and what is done in private do not match.

  3. Q.E.D. In light of very clear gospel teaching Mormonism is a cult, it is satanic to its very core, Mormonism smells like smoke and courts Hell, sorry, but thats just the way it is, Moroni? magical tablets? private interpretations only to Mormons? c'mon, pass the Jim JOnes coolaid!

  4. How sad that so few know what they believe and even fewer within the Church of God care to examine what Mormonism has taught nor evangelise Mormons. I once asked a Baptist pastor if I could put some tracts out on Mormonism in his foyer to which he replied, "We don't attack other Christians here." Other Christians? Mormons?

    I was also asked by some Mormons I use to work with if I considered them Christians. I asked them, "Do you consider me a Mormon?" They said, "No." I said, "Then neither do I consider you a Christian."

    The facts remain: Mormons need Jesus and the Church needs to evangelise these people with the same passion we evangelise the pagans. Truly Romans 10:1-4 applies to Mormons as it did to Jews in Paul's day.

  5. Anonymous,
    Trust me. Mormons know these things...they are just the "deeper things" that are to be kept from "investigators."

    It's hard to get a Mormon to admit these and other "weird teachings" but they will if pressed..

    PS: I'm former LDS...and no, I'm not disgruntled.

  6. This is a fantastic example of contextless quote-mining.

    "Quote mining" is the practice of compiling frequently misleading
    quotes from large volumes of literature or speech. (see also "proof-texting" and "contextomy").

    Here's an example of what I mean by quote mining:

    Suppose you encounter an agnostic or atheist who decries Christianity as violent, oppressive and evil. You may deny this characterization but the opposition has proof: a quote from Jesus Himself. Jesus a militant zealot? Check out this quote, they say, from the so-called "Prince of Peace":

    But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

    Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
    (Matt. 10:33-34)

    Suppose this quote is used over and over again on websites and in books and even coupled with instances of contemporary Christians committing violent acts. Or added to the quote is this juicy tidbit:

    Sources close to Jesus say his disciples were constantly toting swords. In a moment of anger and without warning, one of them even sliced off the ear of an innocent man named Malchus in the dark! (see John 18:10).

    The quote miner is the critic compiling and presenting data.
    The mine is the Bible and other sources such as newspapers which may account Christian misbehavior.
    The nuggets are the verses and instances of violent Christians.

    Is this an accurate portrayal of the data? Is it a fair representation Jesus and Christianity? Technically, the quote about peace and a sword is lifted straight from the Bible; the data is "true." It appears the disciples did carry swords at times. Simon Peter did cut off the ear of Malchus. Some Christians do commit violent acts. However, I believe overall this portrayal of Christianity disregards too much information; it is irresponsible, lacks context, and is presented to shock. Trying to convince the critic, however, will prove difficult. They feel their evidence is an open and shut case.

    The truth is, these quotes are not representative of the overall ecumenical views of Mormonism or Mormon leaders.

  7. Oh, and to rpavich: as a "current" Mormon, I say "way to blow our secret, man!"