PowerPoint Presentation - Mormonism

World Religions Lesson 12
What is Mormonism?
Many people view Mormonism as just another
denomination of Christians.
The leadership of the LDS Church tends to
encourage this, seeking converts and
Yet the theology of Mormonism is drastically
different than Biblical Christianity, as we shall
seek to show here.
In this talk, we will consider:
A history of Mormonism, as told by the
Mormon doctrine tested by the Bible
Mormon evidences examined
Conclusions on Mormonism
A History of Mormonism
As told by Mormons
Joseph Smith, the Founder
Born 1805 in Sharon,
Moved with his parents
to Palmyra, NY
Claimed to have
received a vision during
the NT revival, in 1820:
Sees the Father and Son
Asks them which church
he should join
Answer: None! They are
all corrupt!
Joseph Smith’s Career
In June 1829 Peter,
James and John appear
to Smith and Oliver
Cowdery, restoring the
Melchizedek priesthood.
B of M is printed, 1830.
Smith & followers begin
to distribute “the
Golden Bible.”
The group moves to
Kirtland, OH. Smith
becomes head over 12
apostles. 1st temple is
completed 1836.
Smith’s Career
The Mormons are
opposed by ‘Gentiles’ in
In 1839, the MO
settlement fails, they
move to Nauvoo, IL.
Illinois in sympathy
gives Nauvoo a broad
charter; competition
between Whigs &
Democrats for votes.
The Nauvoo temple is
begun in 1841.
Smith’s Career
Nauvoo is allowed to have its own
independent militia. Smith becomes mayor of
Nauvoo and commander of the Nauvoo
Legion – spiritual, political & military leader.
In 1844, Mormon missionaries campaign for
Smith in the US presidential election.
Smith has an opposition newspaper
destroyed. His opponents charge him with
The governor of IL calls up the state militia,
fearing a civil war.
Smith’s Career
Smith eventually gives
himself up, and is
imprisoned in the
county jail.
The governor sends the
militia home, but a
group of them return,
storm the jail, and kill
Joseph Smith.
As a result, Smith
comes to be seen as a
martyr by the Mormons.
Mormons after Smith
Brigham Young
becomes Smith’s
After 2 more years
opposition, Young leads
his followers to Utah,
where they build their
new society in the
The Mormons continue
to evangelize in the US
and Europe, encouraging converts to come to
Mormons after Smith
By the 1880s, there are
80,000 Mormons,
mostly in Utah.
The Mormons renounce
polygamy so UT can
become a state.
In 20th cen, Mormons
multiplied to over 5
million worldwide.
They have over 20
temples, performing
eternal marriages and
baptisms for the dead.
Some Comments on History
Joseph Smith’s family was involved in
the occult and something like crystal
gazing before he founded the church.
There are serious historical problems
with Smith’s vision story.
Though the Mormons were mistreated
by their neighbors, some of their own
words and deeds contributed to this.
Some Comments on History
The newspaper Smith destroyed was
threatening to expose his teaching of
polygamy, which was then only rumored
among the Mormons.
Smith had been practicing polygamy on the
sly for some years, and some of his ‘wives’
were married to others.
There is evidence that Smith had sexual
relations with about forty women.
Mormon scriptures
The Mormon Scripture includes:
Bible – KJV
Book of Mormon
Doctrines & Covenants
Pearl of Great Price
The Book of Mormon
Smith is told he has
been chosen to restore
the church to its original
He is shown a set of
golden plates containing
God’s revelation for the
Western world.
Smith begins to
translate these using
the Urim and
The translation is
published in 1830.
Contents of Book of Mormon
600 BC - Lehi is told by
God to leave Jerusalem
before it is destroyed.
He and family build a
ship and sail across the
Pacific to Mexico.
Their descendants
develop into two
nations, the Nephites
(good) and Lamanites
(bad). A long history of
warfare, apostasy and
revival follows.
Contents of Book of Mormon
Jesus comes to W
hemisphere & preaches
after ministry in Judea.
The Lamanites defeat
the Nephites. Mormon
entrusts the history on
golden plates to son
Moroni, who buries
them in upstate NY and
dies about AD 400.
Archeology &
the Book of Mormon
In fact, though the Book of Mormon
names many great cities in the W
Hemisphere, archeologists have yet to
locate any of them, in stark contrast to
the Bible’s references to cities.
The Smithsonian Institution has a formletter they send out to inquirers making
just this point.
Archeology &
the Book of Mormon
In Alma 18:9-10, King Lamoni is pictured as
having horses & chariots.
The horse is now known to have been extinct
in the W Hemisphere for many millennia until
it was introduced again by the Spaniards.
The wheel also never made it to the W
Hemisphere until introduced by Europeans.
Archeology &
the Book of Abraham
One of the major parts of Mormon Scripture
is the Pearl of Great Price.
This work contains several parts:
The Book of Moses – visions revealed to Joseph
Smith in December, 1830
The Book of Abraham – an ancient Egyptian scroll
translated by Smith’s miraculous gifts
Extracts from Smith’s translation of the Bible and
his History
The Articles of Faith
History of
the Book of Abraham
Joseph Smith purchased several Egyptian
scrolls from a traveling showman.
Smith claimed that he could translate these
by his divine powers, and that they told a
story about the experiences of Abraham
when he was in Egypt.
At the time, no one on earth could translate
ancient Egyptian.
The scrolls disappeared after Smith’s death,
and were thought to have burnt in the
Chicago fire.
History of
the Book of Abraham
Smith copied pictures
from the scrolls and
printed them in his
Book of Abraham.
These pictures were
shown to several
archeologists to get
their opinion.
They said Smith was
mistaken about the
main picture, and it had
been modified.
Naturally, Mormons
disagreed with this.
History of
the Book of Abraham
Recently, the scrolls
turned up in a NY
museum, which gave
them back to the
Mormon church when
this became public.
The text of the scrolls
has now been
translated. They have
nothing to do with
They show the picture
has been modified.
History of
the Book of Abraham
Shortly before the
scrolls turned up, the
text of Smith’s Egyptian
Alphabet & Grammar
was made public.
This shows that Smith
did not know Egyptian!
It also contains samples
of text which he had
copied from the scrolls,
showing how he had
translated particular
Book of Abraham text cp with Smith’s Alphabet & Grammar
Mormon Doctrine
The official doctrinal statement
of the LDS Church, adopted in
1830, shows where they started
— but not where they went.
Mormonism developed a good
deal during the rest of Smith’s
The Articles of Faith – 1830
We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His
Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
We believe that men will be punished for their own
sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.
We believe that through the atonement of Christ, all
mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and
ordinances of the Gospel.
We believe that the first principles and ordinances of
the Gospel are:
Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ;
Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins;
Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The Articles of Faith – 1830
We believe in the same organization that existed in
the Primitive Church, viz., apostles, prophets,
pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc.
We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy,
revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues,
We believe the Bible to be the Word of God so far as
it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of
Mormon to be the Word of God.
We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does
now reveal, and we believe He will yet reveal many
great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom
of God.
Mormon Doctrine Compare To
The Bible
Doctrine of God
God (Heavenly Father) is an exalted man with a
physical body of flesh and bone. LDS founder
Joseph Smith said, "If the veil were rent today,
and the great God who holds this world in its
orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by
his power, was to make himself visible-I say, if you
were to see him today, you would see him like a
man in form" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph
Smith, p. 345)..
Doctrine of God
The trinity is denied with the Father, the Son, and
the Holy Ghost seen as three separate entities.
"The Father has a body of flesh and bones as
tangible as man's; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost
has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a
personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost
could not dwell in us" (Doctrine and Covenants
[D&C] 130:22).
Doctrine of God
Biblical Response:
The one God is a Spirit who is the personal,
eternal, infinite Creator of all that exists. He is the
only God and necessary for all other things to
exist. He exists eternally as a Trinity: Father, Son,
and Holy Spirit. (see Deut. 6:4; Isa. 43:10; 44:68; Matt. 28:19; John 4:24; 17:3)
Doctrine of Jesus
Jesus was the spiritual "first born" Son of God in
the preexistence. "Every person who was ever born
on earth was our spirit brother or sister in heaven.
The first spirit born to our heavenly parents was
Jesus Christ, so he is literally our elder brother"
(Gospel Principles [GP], p. 11)."And now, verily I
say unto you, I was in the beginning with the
Father, and am the Firstborn" (D&C 93:21). He is
also the "only begotten" physical offspring of God
by procreation on earth. "Jesus is the only person
on earth to be born of a mortal mother and an
immortal father.
Doctrine of Jesus
That is why he is called the Only Begotten Son"
(GP, p. 64). His atonement (death and
resurrection) provides immortality for all people
regardless of their faith. "Christ thus overcame
physical death. Because of his atonement,
everyone born on this earth will be resurrected . . .
This condition is called immortality. All people who
ever lived will be resurrected, 'both old and young,
both bond and free, both male and female, both
the wicked and the righteous' (The Book of
Mormon [BOM], Alma 11:44)" (GP, p. 74). (See GP,
pp. 11, 17-19, 61-77.)
Doctrine of Jesus
Biblical Response:
Jesus Christ was the virgin born God incarnate
who existed in all time with the Father and Holy
Spirit in the eternal Trinity. As a man He
possessed two natures -human and divine. He
lived a sinless life and willingly died on the cross
as a sacrifice for the sin of all humanity. (see John
1:1-18; 8:56-59; Phil. 2:6-11; Col. 1:13-22;
Heb.1:3; 13:8)
Doctrine of Scripture &
Recognizes the LDS Four Standard Works as
authoritative. These include the Bible "as far as it is
translated correctly" (Articles of Faith 1:8). It also
includes The Book of Mormon (BOM) which Joseph
Smith declared is "the most correct of any book on
earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man
would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts,
than by any other book" (Teachings of the Prophet
Joseph Smith, p. 194).
Doctrine of Scripture &
The church also regards The Doctrine and
Covenants (D&C) as Scripture. It "is a collection of
modern revelations . . . regarding The Church of
Jesus Christ as it has been restored in these last
days" (GP, p. 54).
The Pearl of the Great Price (PGP) is the fourth
book believed to be inspired.
"It clarifies doctrines and teachings that were lost
from the Bible and gives added information
concerning the creation of the earth" (GP, p. 54).
Doctrine of Scripture &
The church's president is regarded as "a seer, a
revelator, a translator, and a prophet" (D&C
Doctrine of Scripture &
Biblical Response:
The Bible (Old and New Testaments) is the unique,
revealed, and inspired Word of God. It is the sole
authority for faith and practice for Christians. (see 2 Tim.
3:15-17; 2 Pet. 1:19-21)
Doctrine of Humanity
People are the preexisted spiritual offspring of the
Heavenly Father and Mother. "All men and women
are . . . literally the sons and daughters of Deity . .
. Man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of
heavenly parents, and reared to maturity in the
eternal mansions of the Father, prior to coming
upon the earth in a temporal (physical) body"
(Joseph F. Smith, "The Origin of Man,"
Improvement Era, Nov. 1909, pp. 78,80, as quoted
in GP, p. 11).
Doctrine of Humanity
They are born basically good and are "gods in
embryo." A commonly quoted Mormon aphorism
(attributed to fifth LDS president Lorenzo Snow)
says "As man is, God once was; as God is, man
may become."
Doctrine of Humanity
Biblical Response:
Human beings are created in God's image, meaning they
have personal qualities similar to God's. Every person is a
unique, precious being of dignity and worth. (see Gen.
Doctrine of Sin
People sin by disobedience to God's laws. Adam's
fall, a part of Heavenly Father's plan, caused a loss
of immortality, which was necessary for mankind to
advance, (see GP, pp. 31-34). As Eve declared
according to LDS scripture, "Were it not for our
transgression we never should have . . . known
good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and
the eternal life which God giveth unto all the
obedient"(PGP, Moses 5:11; see also BOM, 2 Nephi
2:22-25). Each person is responsible for his or her
own sin.
Doctrine of Sin
Biblical Response:
Human beings have chosen to sin against God, rejecting
His nature and pursing life opposed to His essential
character and revealed law. (see Rom. 3:23; 7:14-25; 1
John 1:8-10)
Doctrine of Salvation
Jesus' atonement provided immortality for all
people. Exaltation (godhood) is available only to
Mormons through obedience to LDS teachings:
faith, baptism, endowments, celestial marriage,
and tithing. "Wherefore, as it is written, they are
gods, even the sons of God-Wherefore, all things
are theirs" (D&C, 76:58-59).
These are some of the blessings given to exalted
1. They will live eternally in the presence of
Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ (see D&C, 76).
Doctrine of Salvation
2. They will become gods.
3. They will have their righteous family members
with them and will be able to have spirit children
also. These spirit children will have the same
relationship to them as we do to our Heavenly
Father. They will be an eternal family.
4. They will receive a fullness of joy.
5. They will have everything that our Heavenly
Father and Jesus Christ have - all power, glory,
dominion, and knowledge (See GP, p. 302).
Doctrine of Salvation
Baptism for the dead provides post-mortem
salvation for non-Mormons, and is "by immersion
performed by a living person for one who is dead.
This ordinance is performed in temples" (GP, p.
375). (See also GP, chapters 18-23.).
The Mormon Salvation
Celestial State (D&C
Believe, baptized,
cleansed by
Terrestrial State (71-80)
Received Gospel after
Telestial State (81-90)
In hell till last
Hell (25-49)
Deny Holy Spirit after
having received it
Doctrine of Salvation
Biblical Response:
Salvation is release from the guilt and power of sin
through God's gift of grace. It is provided through Christ's
atonement and received by personal faith in Christ as
Savior and Lord. (see Rom. 3:20; 10:9- 10; Eph. 2:8-10)
The Biblical Salvation Scheme
Only two destinies:
Eternal life – glory, see God face-to-face
Second death – eternal shame & suffering
Eternal life is not earned (by us), but
those whom God saves will evidence
transformed lives even now:
Care even for unlovely, least-regarded
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness…
Doctrine of The Church
Baptism for the dead provides post-mortem
salvation for non-Mormons, and is "by immersion
performed by a living person for one who is dead.
This ordinance is performed in temples" (GP, p.
375). (See also GP, chapters 18-23.).
Doctrine of Church
Biblical Response:
Christians congregate together in local bodies and along
denominational lines sharing distinctive doctrinal and
ecclesiastical concepts. There is no organization or
denomination that can claim exclusive designation as the
"one true church. The universal church consists of all the
redeemed in Jesus Christ in all of the ages. (see Matt.
16:15-19; 1 Cor. 1:12-14; Eph. 2:19; 3:11-12)
Conclusions on Mormonism
Joseph Smith is a
false prophet.
The Book of
Mormon, Doctrines
& Covenants, and
Pearl of Great Price
are false revelations.
Mormonism is a
false religion.
Witnessing To Mormons
1. Have a basic and clear understanding of the Christian faith
and the gospel.
2. Be aware of the unique Mormon doctrines.
3. Remember, Mormons use Christian vocabulary (gospel,
atonement, god), but radically redefine their meanings.
Define clearly what you mean when you use biblical words.
4. Present a clear testimony of your faith in Christ alone for
5. Show your Mormon friend that the Bible teaches salvation
alone through the cross of Christ (John 3:16; Rom. 10:4,1013; Eph. 2:8-9).
Witnessing To Mormons
6. Warn the Mormon about trusting in feelings (i.e., the
burning in the bosom) for a validation of Mormonism's truth
claim. Without historical, objective verification, feelings are
7. When Mormons use a Bible verse, read carefully the verses
before and afterward to make clear the exact meaning and
purpose of the passage. Don't let them take Bible verses out
of context. Read carefully the full reference in the Bible
before deciding what any one verse means.
8. Keep the central doctrines of the faith as the focus of your
Witnessing To Mormons
9. Share the plan of salvation with your Mormon friend.
Emphasize that salvation is a gift to be received, not a merit
to be earned.
10. Do the basics: pray, trust the Holy Spirit, and be loving,
patient, and steadfast.
The Compact Guide to World Religions, Dean Halverson, General
Editor, 1996
Nelson’s Illustrated Guide to Religions, by James Beverley, 2009
So What’s The Difference, by Fritz Ridenour, 2001
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